Walk towards health

Walking is one of the most simple forms of exercise that we can do – it has massive health benefits, yet it’s so underrated. 

Why walk?

Walking is suitable for all ages and fitness abilities. You don't need expensive equipment or gym memberships to participate and it can be done anywhere! Walking is a low impact activity, meaning that it is gentle on joints and has a low risk of injury.

What are the health benefits of walking?

In pure physical health terms walking can help fight heart disease, risk of stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancers (particularly bowel cancer), osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Walking also improves your balance and coordination, energy levels and mental health. 

A study examined more than 8,500 men who worked in sedentary jobs. The study found that those who walked for more than 21 minutes to work were 25% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who walked for less than 10 minutes. With there being approximately 366 million people with diabetes worldwide, and this figure on the rise, it is more important than ever to include exercise in your daily routine to prevent being diagnosed. After all, prevention is always better than a cure.

If health reasons aren't enough to get you out walking,consider this -

A morning stroll is great for calming you down and waking you up before work. Do you really want to cram onto a bus, train or sit in peak hour traffic? or would you rather a healthy walk in the sunshine? For the financially-minded, walking to work, especially if you live in a city, will save you those expensive fuel and public transport costs. Plus you won’t start your day with your face in a strangers armpit!

How much is enough?

Experts recommend walking for 30 minutes 4 or more times a week. If you're new to exercise, you may want to work your way up to 30 minute stretches. Remember, any exercise is better than no exercise!

Make it fun!

If you struggle maintaining a regular walking routine, try some of these ideas to keep up your motivation:

  • Walk with friends

  • Use a pedometer or walking app

  • Join a walking group

  • Take the dog (or the neighbours dog!)

  • Find a new walking track

  • Make killer music playlists

  • Set yourself goals or step targets - be creative!

 

Written by Dr. Noel Duncan & Perri Simon

Source: 

Sato, K, Hayashi, T, Kambe, H, Nakamura, Y, Harita, N, Endo, G & Yoneda, T. Walking to Work Is an Independent Predictor of Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in Japanese Men. 2007 Diabetes Care 30(9): 2296-2298.

http://walking.heartfoundation.org.au/