May is National Walking month

National Walking Month

What better month to have as a National Walking Month than May.  With the increase in warmth, light and colour being perfect to promote its benefits and to get everyone walking, no matter what your level of fitness is.
Exercise in general has been called a “wonder drug” or “miracle cure”. Increasing physical activity improves health for those with chronic conditions and prevents many common serious medical conditions. The health improvements with physical activity are indeed often greater than many drugs.

But let’s focus on walking, where there is of course robust evidence that regular walking is good for you both mentally and physically.  It’s free, ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels, has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.  Other benefits include;

It reduces stress

If you’re tearing your hair out, take a brisk walk.  It helps with the perception of stress, leaving you feel calmer and in control.

It could be a better prevention of heart disease than running

A recent Californian study showed walking reduced heart disease, cholesterol and blood pressure nearly twice as much as running.

It helps you concentrate and ‘clears our head’

A walk in the countryside or Green space is the best for giving our brain a rest from information overload – a consequence of our modern work/home environment.

Walking encourages creativity

During walking (indoors or outdoors) or shortly afterwards,  creativity increased by 60%, because it allows our brains to recover from fatigue and return back to a restored state.

Walking helps reduce depression

Exercise in general is well known to help reduce the symptoms of depression.  Mind, the mental health charity conducted a study and found that walking during depression with a close friend can have a significant positive impact on wellbeing.

Walking gives you body confidence

Regular, moderately intense walks help with weight loss and strengthening of our muscles as well as improving our mood which all helps with body confidence.

Walking can help strengthen relationships

Modern life and technology can have a detrimental effect on our relationships.  Couples that walk together eradicate this for that period of time and conversation is stimulated.  The same can be said between parents and children and friends.

Walking can improve your complexion

A brisk walk that has you glowing, helps purge the skin of toxins boosting oxygen and blood flow to the skin, encouraging important oils which help keep the skin soft and supple.

Walking helps with sleep

Walking helps promote a better nights sleep by resetting the body clock and boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin.  This means going for a brisk daily walk won’t just trim you down, it will also keep you up less often at night.  Exercising too close to bedtime can be stimulating though, so a morning walk is perfect.

So Let’s walk………It’s simple and free and one of the easiest ways to be more active, lose weight and become healthier.

References

www.aomrc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/…/Exercise_the_Miracle_CureHealth and Social Care in the Community (2017) 25(3), 1218–1226
stanford.edu/2014/04/24/walking-vs-sitting-042414
www.health.harvard.edu/sleep/8-secrets-to-a-good-nights-sleep

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