Exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. But what if going to the gym fills you with horror? This winter, walking could be just the way to power up your physical and mental health.
In The Truth about Getting Fit, medical journalist Michael Mosley discovered that 10-minute walks, 3 times a day, was enough to improve health and fitness. The key is that the walk is 'brisk' enough for you to be out of breath. You should be able to talk, but singing would be a struggle.
Walk this way
Keep your feet parallel and push off from the ball of your foot and toes for a stronger, more balanced step. If you need to carry anything, use a rucksack, leaving your arms free to swing in a spiral motion around the body. Your foot striking the ground and a natural arm swing improves circulation and helps lymph drainage, supporting your immune system.
The outdoors effect
According to The Nature Fix, by journalist Florence Williams, spending time outside has significant health benefits; improving blood pressure, boosting mental health and reducing your cancer risk. Daylight – especially in the winter – helps set your body clock, which helps regulate body systems such as appetite and hormones.
According to the Sleep Foundation, regular walks help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and help people stay asleep for longer. For maximum sleep benefits, try walking earlier in the day.
You're more likely to stick to your goals when you have company. Why not try joining a local walking group, or starting one of your own? Find out more about groups in your local area on the walking for health website or the ramblers website.
CABA's wellbeing zone and free app can help you set your health goals and track your progress.
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