Walking is the most natural form of exercise; is part of most people’s everyday life and often described by health experts as “almost perfect exercise”.
It offers an amazing number of benefits, find some of them listed below:-
Helps to improve your health and fitness, therefore reducing the risk of ill health later in life.
- Improves self esteem
- Relieves symptoms of depression
- Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces high cholesterol and improves blood lipid profile
- Reduces body fat
- Enhances mental well being
- Increases bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis.
- Reduces the risk of colon and breast cancer
- Reduces the risk of non insulin dependent diabetes
- Helps to control body weight
- Helps osteoarthritis
- Helps flexibility and co-ordination hence, reducing the risk of falls.
- Alters fat metabolism so fat is burnt up instead of sugars, helping to reduce weight.
- Increases energy
- Improves your circulation giving you a fresher, healthier look
- Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
- Reduces stress
- Boosts your immune system
It can also:-
- Help clear your head
- Stimulate creativity
- Help the environment
- Introduce you to new places
- Be part of your social life
- Work as a team builder
- Increase or give you confidence
- Help you feel more in control.
- Be started slowly and built up gently.
As 70% of adults don’t take enough exercise to benefit their health, walking would seem to be the place to start and as a low- impact, aerobic exercise it’s suitable for just about everyone regardless of age or size.
Just think about how flexible it is. You can do it where you want, when you want and for as long as you want and it goes with you everywhere. Apart from a pair of flat comfortable shoes, which are a necessity, you have your kit with you when traveling on business or on holidays, so no excuses.
How good is that for your stress relief and wellbeing?
Exercise should be about enjoyment so make sure your walking is. In our area we have many pleasant places to walk such as canal towpaths, parks and river sides. Look around as you walk and get to know your own area. That’s something that many discovered during lockdown, paths in their own locality that they just didn’t know about. I am sure there are discoveries to be made near you too.
If you don’t like walking alone, take your dog for a walk or borrow someone else’s. Better still find a buddy to walk with and as make it a social occasion too. More and more people are joining walkers groups such as the Ramblers and also looking at planning walking holidays and challenges such as those mentioned.
When I started walking regularly, I quickly experienced benefits I did not expect. My walks gave me ’me time’, allowed me to plan my day and work through issues. I was more creative and I always returned in a better mood with a clear head and a real positive attitude. I toned up, lost weight and my back problems disappeared – all the things I did it for but I also sleep better, am calmer and want to eat more healthily. Very quickly others noticed too and I had compliments about my glowing skin, my increased energy and my streamlined body.
Walking helps you feel more of a member of your community as you are physically out and about in it more. You can walk to shops and get to know people, you are supporting you local economy and not adding to the traffic problems.
I have seen the number of times that I‘ve been ill reduce dramatically. I can’t remember the last time I had a really bad cold. I know it’s all down to my walking and there’s no way I
intend to stop.
Now is a good time to start to build that immunity for the winter weather ahead.
If you want some help, join our 28 day programme ‘Take a Walk’. As soon as you sign up you will start to get the day by day short emails and your task for the day. You only need to give 15 mins a day on average though I think you will want to give more… and you will learn so many ways that walking helps you.