The Health Benefits of Walking

Why should you walk more?

You don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive gym memberships or pound the pavements at 5.30a.m like Rocky to get fit. Exercising can be a simple as putting one foot in front of the other. Walking is a gentle form of exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine and is great for your overall health and sense of well being. It makes you fitter, will save you fortune in petrol, parking and transport costs and is good for the environment, as well as for your own health.

It is also a great way to wake yourself up in the morning and de-stress after a long day at work. 30 minutes of brisk walking a day is recommended to help keep you fit, so instead of sitting in a stressful traffic jam or squeezing onto overcrowded buses and trains, why not walk to work instead? Or walk the kids to school so that they reap the health benefits as well. You should aim to walk 10,000 steps a day in total. Purchasing a pedometer (which can cost as little as £3.00) would help you keep track of how many steps you walk in a day so you know if you are walking enough or if you should try to do a little bit more.

Why is walking so good for you?

Walking has a range of health benefits and as it is a low impact form of aerobic exercise, it isn’t as stressful on your joints as jogging or running. Because it is a cardiovascular activity, walking is very good for your heart and lungs, as well as helping to improve muscle tone and reduce body fat. Walking burns about 100 calories per mile, depending on your age, weight and how quick your pace is. Regular walking can reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Because it increases bone density, it can lower the risk of osteoporosis as well. Walking is also good for relieving stress, helping you sleep and improving your mood, as well as being an ideal form of gentle exercise if you are recovering from illness.

Make walking fun

Have you ever thought of taking up walking as a hobby? It is a healthy, fun, sociable activity that you can do with all family or a group of friends and it doesn’t cost you anything. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, whether you just fancy a gentle stroll in your local park or feel like tackling a hardcore hike up a mountain. It is also a great way of getting lots of invigorating fresh air and making the most of what your local area has to offer. If you really enjoy walking as a hobby, you could join a rambling group who organise rambling routes for its members (you will be able to find your local group through The Ramblers Association).

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