Every year, on the first Wednesday of April, we celebrate National Walking Day. Walking is considered one of the easiest ways to stay fit and healthy; it has been proven effective in preventing many illnesses including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, with only as little as 30 minutes a day. So, what makes walking good for your health, and why you should you build it into your daily routine? Read on to find out…
Walking is easy. It does not require any special skills, complex technique or equipment. You can walk pretty much everywhere, be in charge of your pace and time without spending any money (except for some comfy shoes). Regular walks can help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, lower your blood sugar and boost immune function. During a brisk walk, our heart pumps more blood, which makes it stronger. It’s also great for getting those legs toned up!
When we walk our bodies are getting more oxygen, which translates into more energy and puts us in a better mood. Generally, people who walk regularly are physically fitter than those who do not exercise at all. Regular walking also has a positive effect on our immunity, with people who walk daily are less likely to catch a cold. As you walk outdoors, you also get more vitamin D which contributes to higher energy levels, improved immunity, and better bone and muscle health.
After only a few weeks of implementing regular walks into a daily routine, those trying to lose weight will begin to notice its effect. Unlike running or jogging, walking does not put pressure on your joints, back or spine. Though it can be a less aerobic exercise, brisk walking for 45 minutes will enable your body to burn around 300 calories (depending on the pace and your weight). This makes it a perfect form of exercise for people with joint injuries or those looking to maintain or lose weight.
It is said that 10% to 30% of adults suffer from insomnia. While there may be many reasons behind this, one of the solutions to aid better sleep is walking. Even a 20-30 minutes’ walk in the fresh air can help improve the quality of your sleep. Especially for those who prefer working out in the evening, walking is a perfect alternate evening exercise to vigorous activity such as aerobics or HIIT, which can disrupt your sleep.
There are plenty of great walks around our centres. For some inspiration about walking routes in London, we recommend 33 Walks in London That You Shouldn’t Miss. For Newcastle, check the guide on the Top 20 Walks and Hikes Around Newcastle.
The list of benefits or regular walks is endless. It gives many physical and mental health benefits and is a great way to go back to regular physical activity. It can prevent serious illnesses and even make you live longer. On top of that, it is free and easy to fit into our daily routines.
So put your walking shoes on and enjoy!