Benefits of walking

Posted on: 18/01/2020

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.

There are many benefits to walking such as, strengthen your heart and bones, lower blood sugar and risk of type 2 diabetes, reduces your risk of dementia and cancer, boost immune function and your energy, improve your mood and help creative thinking.

Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.

You do not have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and every little helps.

Find shoes or trainers that are comfortable, preferably with a good heel and arch support. For long walks, you may want to take some water, wear comfortable clothing and if you walk in the evening or early morning hours, wear a reflective vest or light so cars can see you and walk in areas designated for pedestrians. Depending on the weather you may want to wear a waterproof jacket, sunscreen and a sun hat, even on cloudy days.

The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit and think of ways to include walking in your daily routine. Such as walking to the shops, using the stairs instead of the lift, doing a regular walk with a friend or going for a stroll with family or friends after dinner, getting off a bus or tube stop before your destination or even doing some gardening to stay active. It’s important to choose an activity you enjoy.

You could try walking while wearing earphones and listening to music or a podcast to take your mind off the effort. It can also get you into a rhythm and help you walk faster. You'll be surprised at how fast the time goes when you're walking to your favourite tunes. 

Don't feel that you have to take long walks every day. It's better to make walking a part of your everyday routine. If your pace makes you feel a bit out of breath, but you can still hold a conversation, that's ideal. But if that's not manageable for you right now, any kind of activity is better than nothing!

If you're not very active but are able to walk, increase you could gradually increase your walking distance. If your joints are a problem, check whether your local swimming pool holds exercise classes. The water helps to support your joints while you move and can help you strengthen your muscles. If you're worried about staying active because of a medical condition, speak to your doctor to find out what they advise and they give you some exercises to build your strength gradually.

If you are worried about staying safe whilst out and about, Progress Lifeline can provide you with a GPS location device called The Footprint

Our Footprint device is great for providing reassurance when you leave the house. It's SOS button acts as a personal alarm, it has built-in falls detector and is connected to our to 24/7 alarm response centre who can assist you in the event of an accident or emergency and help if you are lost from using the device's GPS location.

You can read more information about The Footprint, here and make a referral here.


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