In the 1970’s the running craze took off and people started jogging and running for pleasure, and what was once a sport for serious athletes on tracks in stadiums became open to all, which lead to organized events and races in towns and cities all over the world.

Since this happened it seems walking kind of got pushed to one side and the more dynamic sibling took over capturing the health conscious public';s imagination with its promise of weight management and cardiovascular improvements. Well, I think walking still has a place in our healthy lifestyles and it is something that we should definitely try to do more often.

One of the reasons a lot of people run is to ‘burn’ calories and to lose weight, now while walking doesn’t use as many calories per mile as running it still uses way more than laying on the couch or sitting in a car!

 

Some other benefits of walking are;

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased bone strength
  • Being outside
  • Reduces stress
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Improved mood
  • Makes great family time
  • Increased stamina
  • Improved lung capacity
  • Improved coordination and balance
  • Helps prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

and the list goes on and on…………….

 

One of walking’s main advantages is that it’s cheap and easy to do, the only real thing you need is appropriate footwear (or just barefoot). It can be done at lunchtime at work, after supper, before breakfast, as a mode of transport to a destination, in a park, in a city or a mall, on a golf course, again the list goes on and on….

Walking speed is obviously a factor that will affect how large or small the increases in the health improvements listed above, but as with any exercise it’s good to change things up, so a brisk walk that increases the heart rate before breakfast or an amble through the park on a Sunday afternoon with the family will yield slightly differing physiological effects, but it’s all a step in the right direction!

 

Yours in Health,

Richard Insley

2016-05-09 16:17:53