The headlines shout we should all be getting some exercise. HIIT, Spinning, Kettlebells, jogging, swimming, gym sessions, Pilates, yoga, hot yoga, cycling, team sports...the list is endless.
Well I personally am not a great fan of any of the above, except for Pilates and Spinning I have tried them all. (the mere thought of Spinning 😧..... everyone I know loves it and leaves the session dripping in sweat....nah.)
I truly admire anyone who devotes themselves to exercise or even makes room in their diary for exercise. I know I should but being a naturally lazy sod it doesn't come easily.
I do however love walking and whilst I know it is actually a form of exercise, because I love it it doesn't feel like it....I guess that's the same for the gym bunnies? They love it so they don't feel the pain???
Benefits of walking include:
Promoting Heart Health - it helps drop blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and regulates your blood sugar - these being risk factors of heart disease.
It can help with depression - by releasing endorphins - those little 'feel good' chemicals - into the brain, we can lift our spirits.
It helps with bone density - as we get older we need to do weight-bearing exercise to ensure our bones stay strong.
Brain function is improved - BDNF (brain-derived neurotophic factor) obvs 😂 - is increased with exercise - this protein promotes the survival of nerve cells by playing a role in their growth, maturation and maintenance .
Helps with pain reduction - A lot of our physical aches and pains come from underuse, not overuse. When muscles, ligament, tendons, and fascia aren't used, they get tight. The less they're used, the tighter they get and that tightness causes a lot of pain, particularly in the lower back and joints. Walking is a gentle way to get moving and keep moving so our bodies stay limber, flexible, and pain free.
Calories are burned - yay! - depending on your weight and how briskly you walk, you can get a serious workout with around 50 calories for every 10 minutes walked (ok, perhaps not THAT serious a workout compared with a triathlon but a calorie burnt is a calorie burnt in my book)
Gives you 'you' time - our lives are increasing busy (why?) and the time spent walking can clear your head of all the thoughts whirling round, help you relax, breath in the air, be present and take in your surroundings. You could almost call it a mediation because you are free to focus on nothing in particular. Having said that, you could also use the time to work out a particular problem, hopefully your phone is turned off and in your pocket and no-one is going to disturb you because you have chosen somewhere wild to walk, well you have you all to yourself and a problem that seemed insurmountable can often be solved.
It's cheap/free - you just need a comfy pair of shoes, for more serious off-road walking get some waterproof walking boots.......you'll thank me!
You can do it whenever you have a few moments - no need to put aside an hour of your time, if you just have 10 minutes, get out and walk around the block.
You can do it with or without people(my favourite) - a walk can be a nice social event with friends, much better (for your health) than meeting at a coffee shop and having a full-fat latte and a piece of cake........hmm??. Or it can be a nice solo activity, you may feel uncomfortable going places by yourself but not on a walk, that's perfectly acceptable to do by yourself.
Enough! I think you have the idea - walking is great! Walk fast, walk strong, walk far my friends.....but walk (and put that flaming phone in your pocket unless you're taking a picture....I'll allow you that)