It’s winter and snow has started falling already. Even though it is a little chilly outside that is no excuse for not getting outside and going for a good long walk!
- Vitamin D – Whatever time of year it is, rain or shine, your body needs a little Vitamin D. Did you know you get Vitamin D even though the sun isn’t out? Without it, your body can’t regenerate skin and absorb calcium to make strong bones so when you get injured you don’t heal easily and quickly. All you need to do is to get outside two or three times a week.
- Walking is good for your little grey cells – as Poirot would say. Did you know walking can increase your mental fitness in addition to your physical fitness? A recent UK study told us that whatever your age you can improve the impact of ageing on your brain. So get up and start moving, you could be one of the lucky few that retains your marbles.
- It kick-starts your immune system – Winter is the worst time for getting sick. Whether you get the flu or a runny nose, I can guarantee you won’t be able to shake it off quite as easily as you would in the Summer. Walking boosts oxygen levels and blood flow to the brain and makes you more resistant to infection by giving your immune system a boost. A little fresh air in your lungs doesn’t hurt either!
Walking in a Winter Wonderland – If you’re lucky enough to live in a Winter Wonderland then why are you not out enjoying the view? Make sure you wrap up warm and stay safe because ice is slippery stuff! We don’t want too many broken legs this Christmas!
- Walking improves your mood – Ever had that thing where you’re arguing with someone and you storm out of the house, go for an hours walk (sometimes longer), come back and you feel fine? Walking releases serotonin – the happy hormone – into your body relieving you from stress, and helping you feel a lot better generally. So if you’re overworked, tense or just need a little energy don’t pop a pill, go for a thirty minute walk and I promise you, you’ll feel a lot better.
- You’ll burn more calories – Winter walking is more difficult than walking along a pavement or field in Summer. Walking through the snow requires a lot more energy and thus you burn more calories. It helps keep your fitness up during the Winter months and builds up your walking stamina.
- Make new friends – Walking doesn’t have to be solitary, it can be social too. If you own a dog then you know how much attention your four-footed friend will get on a walk. If you’re not then there are plenty of websites you can sign up to where you walk somebody else’s dog for the day. Borrow my Doggy is a great example of this. If you don’t like dogs or this just doesn’t ring your bell (you prefer humans to canines) then there are plenty of walking groups you can join. Find a group near you at: www.ramblers.org.uk.
- Just as good as running – Maybe you don’t need to drag yourself out of bed for a run every morning. Walking is safer than running in the Winter and, according to US researchers, just as beneficial if you follow their instructions. They say that rather than the intensity of your workout it’s the energy expended that counts. So next time you go for a walk, rather than wandering along keep it brisk and you could be lowering your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Sound good? Sounds good to me!
- More inspiring than the gym – Not only is it more inspiring but results from studies show that it is in fact better for you. Well, no surprise! Adults who walk at a brisk pace for more than thirty minutes a day tend to have slimmer waists and a lower BMI than those who use the gym. Breathing in all that fresh air has to be good for you in more ways than one and a definite improvement on the alternative.
- You’ll live longer – Sitting and working at a computer all day long is generally accepted to be detrimental to your health. Too many deaths in Western countries are contributed to lack of exercise and obesity. You only need to walk briskly for twenty minutes a day to reduce chances of an early death. So why not start today?
Purchase one of our local area walking maps here or at your local retailer and start walking. What are you waiting for?