As the evenings stretch, put a stretch in your step around the garden, the block or the park; walking is free and brings many health benefits. Plus you’ve got the perfect opportunity to get outside this weather, as May is National Walking Month!
It’s a great excuse to leave your car at home for those shorter journeys to school or for local shopping. You can incorporate it into your day by taking the stairs instead of the lift or by opting to walk a slightly longer route to your destination. Walking is so good for you on many levels. Here are seven ways this May –
Walking strengthens your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. As it is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood around your body and keeping your organs healthy, it’s important to keep it in great condition. A daily 30-minute brisk walk reduces heart disease and stroke by up to 27%. Additionally it will help reduce your cholesterol levels.
Even if you’re a new walker, walking at 2mph for 30 minutes will on average burn around 75 calories; 4mph increases this to approximately 150 calories with 20 minutes of daily walking burning an amazing 7lbs (3.175 kgs) over the course of a year.
Walking has been shown through research to be good for your brain, reducing the incidence of dementia.
As walking boosts your circulation and increases oxygen supply it will help you feel awake and alert, even if you don’t really feel like it at the time!
As most of your muscles are activated – calves, gluteal muscles, hamstrings, quads and abdominals it’s like a mini-workout without any fitness equipment. Try it.
Vitamin D, so important for bone and immunity health will increase when you are outdoors. Sensible sunshine exposure enables this vitamin making this another reason to stretch those legs and walk.
It’s great for making you feel happy. It is said a brisk walk helps anxiety, depression or stress. Combined with connecting with nature and taking notice while you walk, it’s like fresh air medicine.
These are just some of the many reasons why you should try to include walking this month. And not just for May, for life!