May is National Walking Month
Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.
You do not have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits
Walking is good for your heart
Your heart is responsible for pumping the oxygen and blood around your body and keeping all the other organs working. Walking not only strengthens your heart but reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. In fact a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day is said to reduce your risk of a stroke by 27%. It also reduces bad levels of cholesterol.
Walking can help you loose weight
If you are new to exercise, or maybe trying to lose weight gradually in order to keep it off, then walking is a great form of exercise for you. If you walk at around 2mph for 30 minutes then you will burn around 75 calories, and if you increase this to 4mph this will rise to around 150 calories. 20 minutes of walking a day will burn an incredible 7lbs of body fat a year.
Walking can lower your risk of Dementia
An older person who walks six or more miles a week is less likely to have problems such as dementia. This is because walking has been proven to prevent your brain from shrinking.
Walking gives you energy
There are times when you feel more lethargic than others, and if you find yourself in this zone then a walk could do you good. It boosts your circulation and increases the oxygen supply is around your body, which in turn will keep you feeling alert and awake.
Walking exercises your whole body
Many muscles in your body are activated during walking including; calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads and abdominals, so give it a try and get a full body workout.
Walking outside increase your vitamin D level
People in the UK are often deficient in Vitamin D, the best way to increase your levels of Vitamin D is to get outside in the sunshine. Vitamin D is good for your bone health, as well as your immune system, which is why it is important to try and increase the levels in your body.
Walking makes you happier
In the same way walking can help you feel energised, it is also great for making you feel happy. A brisk walk can be just as beneficial as taking an antidepressant, and can be a great helping hand if you are suffering from depression, anxiety or feeling stressed.
The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit.
Think of ways to include walking in your daily routine. For example,
- walking part of your journey to work
- walking to the shops
- using the stairs instead of the lift
- leaving the car behind for short journeys
Remember to keep 2m away from other people, avoid touching surfaces (like gates) and wash your hands as soon as you return home.
The Walking for Health project Halton is ran by Active Halton.
For further information call Paula Parle: 0151 511 8550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
www.walk4life.info has walking information and local maps.