Walking really is the best medicine.
Reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions
A 30 minute moderate walk can build your stamina and burn calories, reducing the risk of heart conditions and type 2 diabetes. We have ever-increasing schedules, whether it’s looking after the kids, working, socialising or trying to get some downtime. Why not try to make the most of those times and increase your step count? Try a walking meeting or, rather than a coffee and a natter, why not take a stroll with friends or family?
When getting in from work sometimes the last thing we want to do is leave the house but after dinner, try taking a stroll instead of than putting the box on. Exercise is a great way to increase your metabolic rate further reducing the likelihood of health issues.
The mental health charity Mind found in their report Ecotherapy: The Green Agenda for Mental Health that country walks can reduce depression and raise self-esteem. So try to swap the inner city for a nearby park or green space when you’re walking.
90% of those who took part in the study said that a combination of nature and exercise is most important in determining how they feel. The same percentage of participants had an increased level of self-esteem after their green walk.
It is well documented the impact cars and fossil fuel dependent vehicles have on our environment, resulting in air pollution and global warming. Reducing our impact on the planet is why so many of our products are packaged with recyclable materials.
But if a doctor was to perform a check-up on our planet their diagnoses mightn’t be so audible. Diesel fuel emits airborne pollutants such as metal and soot. These particles can cause skin irritations and allergies. The smallest particles can nestle in our lungs and can cause respiratory issues as well. Surprisingly, even the noise from cars is also harmful to our health. The effects of noise on hearing may vary among people, but any sound that is too loud can cause damage to hearing. According to CultureChange.org, “researchers have found vehicle noise pollution to be a major cause of stress.” A related illness being high blood pressure, when people are exposed to intrusive sounds.
Whilst we know that it’s not always possible to make the green choice remember that cars use almost twice the CO2 during short journeys. So next time you’re popping to the shop for some delicious St Helen’s Farm Goats Milk, teabags or a loaf of bread why not walk to your local store rather than talking the car?
Friendship & Conversation
Whether it’s with friends or family, walking is great way to strengthen relationships through conversation. Try a catch up and a stroll with a friend, a weekend walk with the family or a lunchtime walking club.
Websites such as the Ramblers have dedicated walking groups set up all over the country. The Ramblers website even has a list of recommended walks that you can download and take with you to keep you inspired and discover new places. Remember to add variety to your walks - you don't have to travel to the countryside to find a rewarding walk. Towns and cities offer interesting walks, including parks, heritage trails, canal towpaths, riverside paths, commons, woodlands, heaths and nature reserves.
Being social doesn’t have to mean meeting new people. It can also mean bringing along a pet for your daily walk!
One of the best things about walking is that you can do it solo or with friends, and it doesn’t cost a thing. The average Brit spends a whopping £1,000 a year on transport costs. Walking is an easy way to keep these costs down, whilst boosting your fitness levels and general wellbeing at the same time. You could knock a bundle off your commuting bill by leaving your car behind, or skipping a stop on your public transport journey and walking the rest of the way, as this will save a significant amount of cash on fares and fuel costs.
Often overlooked as a form of exercise, walking and the benefits this simple activity could bring to your overall health & wellbeing are truly astonishing. We take a look at a few of the reasons why walking really is the best medicine.