Walking for Health

Walking for Health

Walking is an excellent weight bearing exercise, meaning it is an exercise done standing up moving against gravity. As such, it is fabulous for bone density health too. Everyone thinks that walking is the poor cousin of running, however it is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels and should not be underestimated. Walking has beneficial effects on mental health, being outdoors in natural green spaces alone boosts your mood.

Getting Started

When starting out try to build up your time and speed gradually. As with any exercise, doing too much too soon can lead to injury. Ensure you wear clothes you can move in freely and a comfortable pair of shoes. If you lack motivation on your own, try to enlist a friend to go out with. Make it a regular date instead of that coffee and cake meet up! And with the darker months remember there is never bad weather for exercise, only poor choices of clothing!

Walking can be of great benefit to your fitness and cardiovascular health. This is where you are walking fast enough, or uphill, making it hard to carry on a conversation. You need to do this for at least 10 minutes to increase your cardiovascular health. However, just walking between two trees faster can be a first step. As with all exercise, moderation and variety is important, as is rest and good nutrition to feed the body.

Join a Group

There are many local walking groups; see walkingforhealth.org.uk for details, help and advice. You can search here for local groups to you. For the more ambitious you might like to consider Nordic Walking – a full body workout using poles to bring in the upper body muscles too.

Jane Williams