You are going to be surprised when we tell you what a brisk walk can do for you in terms of health! Keeping fit doesn’t mean you have to run laps around the neighbourhood, or hit the gym hard - but rather enjoy walks in scenic places, whilst catching up with friends, and even enjoying a picnic half way through the trip.
Taking part in regular exercise activities is even more important as we get older - not only does it help keep our bodies strong, but it also helps keep our weight under control. The older we get, the slower our metabolism gets so going for a brisk walk helps burn off the calories from that slice of Victoria Sponge cake you’ve enjoyed over a cuppa! Walking helps us use up energy and burn fat in a controlled way that isn’t too hard on the rest of your body.
Diabetes is a problem in the UK, mostly Type 2 Diabetes, which affect adults and those who are overweight or obese. But with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Whilst we’re walking, we’re doing a little bit of cardio which helps keep the heart strong and healthy. During a walk your heart rate is increased, helping keep muscles strong - and in turn reducing your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Did you know that according to the British Heart Foundation, 1 in 7 men and 1 in 10 women die from coronary heart disease? So let’s make a pledge to look after our hearts!
But it’s not just our hearts that get stronger when we include regular walks in our routines - walking can help strengthen bones which in turn helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis, which makes bones brittle and more likely to break. Walking on softer ground like the one in the countryside, or by the seaside, is more gentle on your knees and feet - and just think of the scenery.
And it’s the mixture of endorphins from exercise, beautiful scenery, and fresh air that will contribute to a better quality of life and a more positive outlook on life. How many of us have felt down being confined in our 4-wall space but the moment we got out and about suddenly everything felt better? Especially if the sun is shining so let’s keep our fingers crossed. And make sure you grab your friends to have a good catch up whilst you’re walking.
And if we haven’t convinced you to enjoy a brisk walk yet, then how about this: physical exercise can reduce the risk of developing illnesses such as cancer and dementia. Leading a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise helps keep your body and mind in top shape which in turn reduced the risk of developing many illnesses.
There are many beautiful walks around the UK and you can find the nearest one to enjoy this weekend by using the search tool on the Walking for Health website.