Physical

Walking for health

5 reasons that you should start walking more

Leah Heath

Wellbeing Advisor

May 2, 2022

We wouldn’t be divulging any groundbreaking information by telling you that moving your body with a bit of purpose can help contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Many of us have tried it all; HIIT, Zumba, Pilates, running, to name but a few. That’s not forgetting the “quick fixes”! It’s only natural to aspire to be more healthy if we feel like it’s taking it out of us to simply climb up a flight of stairs.

With many of us sitting in front of laptops for eight hours a day, sometimes all the walking that we do is downstairs in the morning for work and upstairs in the evening! While working from home has meant less time commuting, there’s a possibility that it has made our physical wellbeing suffer as a result.

We lead busy lives, and finding time for exercise can be difficult. High intensity exercise can feel intimidating, but for many of us, walking is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.

But why is it so important? Liam Donaldson, the former Chief Medical Officer of England said, “if a medication existed which had a similar effect to physical activity, it would be regarded as a wonder drug or a miracle cure.” A report produced by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support found that 4 out of 10 men, and 5 out of 10 women are still not active enough to benefit their health. This increases the risk of serious illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, and makes it more likely that people will be overweight or obese.

This is a problem because these serious diseases can ultimately lead to death. Inactivity is responsible for almost one fifth of early deaths in the UK.

It’s clear to see how inactivity can contribute to poor health. But why walk? Here are some reasons:

·       It’s a gentle exercise, so it’s a great place to start, you can take the intensity as high as you like!

·       If injury is a worry for you, you’re much less likely to get injured while walking than you might be taking part in other sport and exercises.

·       It’s free, there are no expensive gym memberships or special equipment needed to take part.

·       It’s a healthy way to get together with friends, or simply get to where you need to be.

·       If you are already an avid exerciser, it is great to pair alongside your regular training to keep your general fitness levels up.

Walking has been shown to be a great form of exercise that most people are able to take part in. It releases endorphins and can help to connect communities, as we spend more time outdoors. So this National Walking month get yourself out into the fresh air, put one foot in front of the other and whether you go for a one mile walk, or a ten mile walk, be happy in the knowledge that you are improving your health, one step at a time.

 

Sources

Walkingworks_summary_AW_Web.pdf (walkingforhealth.org.uk)