For those of us that can walk, we just do it automatically to get around but have you thought about the health benefits of brisk walking? Read on!
So many people believe taking exercise involves going to a gym or leisure centre which is great for a lot of us but does not appeal to everyone. Plus not everyone has the money or time to do this especially with busy family lives.
How many of us these days have jobs which require you to sit all day, drive to/fro work or use public transport and then come home feeling too tired to move off the couch? So we can become physically inactive.
A researcher from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge states; “Just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive”.
That’s where walking comes in! It is a great form of exercise which doesn’t get a great press! It doesn’t cost us anything and you don’t need to buy any special exercise clothes or kit!!
Start to think of ways to include 20 minutes brisk walking into your day, at least five days a week. By the way, walking slowly doesn’t count!
Possibly walk to or from work. If that’s too far, maybe leave the car further from your work and walk the last ten minutes and repeat this at the end of the day. Or get off the bus a few stops earlier to walk. Or maybe walk briskly in your lunch break (with colleagues if they are trying to improve their fitness) for 20 minutes. Or walk from your home. Ten minutes in one direction and then back again. If you work from home or are studying, this is a great way to switch off, get the endorphins going and come back feeling mentally refreshed.
Once we are outside walking, we can start to engage with the environment which takes our mind elsewhere. A form of mindfulness, being in the moment. Even if it is raining, 20 minutes is not long and when you get back indoors you can experience a real sense of achievement and the feel good factor! Walking is a good form of mental exercise too.
A simple change to our lifestyles like this can be a big step (excuse the pun!!) towards a longer healthier life.
If you have any medical conditions it is advisable to discuss taking up brisk walking with your GP before starting.
These boots are made for walking!!