10 Reasons to Walk

10 Reasons To Walk

  1. Weight management – a 30-minute brisk (3 mph) walk can burn around 200 calories, so walking regularly combined with healthy nutrition can help us manage our weight, and could ensure we keep a good balance between calorie intake and expenditure. 
  2. Bone health – weight bearing exercise (walking, running, dancing) can help us keep our bones healthy and help to prevent them losing their density. If bones begin to lose their density it can make them more susceptible to fractures and breaks, so engaging in regular weight bearing exercise is a great and easy way to reduce this risk.  Regular weight bearing exercise is especially important for women approaching or who have been through menopause, as hormone changes can significantly decrease bone density. 
  3. Mental wellbeing – there are strong links between physical activity and wellbeing, both physical and mental. Being active, such as walking daily, can help to improve our sleep, which can do wonders for our overall health.  It can also reduce our risk of becoming depressed, feeling stressed or anxious and help to increase our self-esteem.  Being active through methods like walking can also help us increase our attention spans, memory and reduce our risk of developing dementia.  Walking is one way of getting our bodies to release natural endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
  4. Vitamin D – a walk outside can help us increase our Vitamin D levels, which is essential for bone health. Be sure to protect yourself from sunburn.
  5. Nature – going for a walk in nature has a range of benefits. Spending time in nature can help to reduce our levels of stress, anger and reduce our blood pressure.  Nature can help to boost our immune system, energy levels, focus and creativity.  It is also said to help us be better people through reminding us of the importance of relationships, community and sharing.  120 minutes a week in nature is the time needed to achieve the positive effects nature offers.  
  6. Free – there are lots of amazing places to visit and enjoy a lovely walk for free (please ensure you follow COVID-19 guidelines). No memberships or special kit (other than some comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing) needed.  We have lots of ideals for routes as part of our Ditch Your Desk campaign.
  7. It can be inclusive – going for a walk can be one of the more inclusive forms of exercise. Some routes may be accessible for wheelchair users and those who have limited mobility, and there are a number of websites that list accessible walks and many maps will indicate whether the route is accessible.  Children (either in prams, carriers or walking) can enjoy walks and learn a lot about their environments.  Walking is a great form of exercise for all fitness levels and can be much less intimidating than going to the gym or fitness classes.   
  8. Social – getting out and about can be a good way to meet people and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  9. Easy to accommodate into daily life – as walking doesn’t involve any special equipment, memberships or bookings etc it can be an easy form of physical activity to fit into your life. You can make some journeys on foot, have a walking lunch break (which may also help you to relax and refocus), or do things like get off the bus a stop or two early to increase your walking.
  10. Muscle strength – walking can help us to build muscles and increase our muscle strength and endurance. Walking can also help us to improve our stability, which could reduce our risk of trips and falls, this is especially important as we age and experience changes to our bones.  

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