National walking month!

Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve our health and stay connected to our community, in turn helping us feel less lonely and isolated. This year’s aim is to discover the #MagicOfWalking and celebrate the many health and happiness benefits of walking and wheeling.

Research shows that even a small amount of physical activity can make a significant difference to our health. Just 11 minutes of daily activity has been found to potentially prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths!

Exercise releases feel-good hormones, so walking can:

  • Improve your mood,
  • Reduce stress and anxiety,
  • Help you sleep better,
  • Increase your energy,
  • Improve memory and problem-solving skills.

Do you walk enough?

It is recommended that adults aged 19-64 should exercise for 150 minutes per week. To achieve this, you could take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day, for 5 days per week.

However, if you can’t manage 30 minutes per day then taking a 10 minute brisk walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your 150 minutes per week.  You could build this up over a few weeks until you can walk for 30 minutes.

It can be easy to increase the amount you walk by making small changes such as going for a walk during your lunch break or perhaps you could take your meetings outside and walk whilst you talk. A small change can make a big difference.

How does walking improve your physical health?

  • It increases cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness,
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases,
  • Helps to manage and improve conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol,
  • Reduces body fat,
  • Increases muscle strength and endurance.

With summer fast approaching and warmer weather starting to come through, there is no better time to start walking more often and reap the physical and mental benefits that come alongside it. A small change such as walking to school or work, will have a positive impact. If it is too far to walk to school or work, then you could park further away and benefit from increased energy for the rest of the day. There is no better time, why not start today!