If you’re not exactly a gym bunny, the thought of regular exercise might cause you to break out into a cold sweat or bring out the most creative and elaborate excuses.
For many, it’s the thought of being judged by other gym-goers or the fear of looking incredibly unfit and out of shape. It could also be the boredom factor. Running on a treadmill doesn’t exactly stimulate the senses.
Walking is arguably the easiest and most enjoyable form of exercise. You can get out and about, take in the scenery, breathe in the fresh air whilst knowing that you are doing the body the world of good. We run through a few of the top benefits of enjoying a brisk walk every now and again.
It helps with weight loss
A fast 30 minute walk will help you burn 150 calories, which is roughly the equivalent of one thin slice of pizza or 10 tortilla chips. A good walk will increase muscle mass and tone, which will in turn speed up your metabolism.
It reduces lethargy and increase energy levels
Ever suffer from an afternoon slump? A quick walk will help to increase oxygen supply to every cell in the body. Make sure to get out at lunchtime so you feel refreshed and awake.
It helps you sleep better
Oregon State University stated that ’30 minutes of brisk walking over five days could help you sleep more easily’. The study showed that the participants slept better and felt more alert during the day.
If you’re prone to spending an hour on your phone every evening, go for a quick walk a couple of hours before bedtime and set your phone on the other side of the room. You don’t want to undo the benefits of your evening stroll!
Improve your mood and feel happy
Being active releases endorphins, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Whilst a walk is not high intensity or a fat burning exercise, it does help to improve your mood and certainly the social aspect helps to make it much more enjoyable.
Check out your local or national walking clubs and get social to increase your motivation and improve your mental wellbeing. In Northern Ireland, there are several walking festivals or events that you can take part in. The Ramblers also have a finder tool so you can view details on your nearest walking club across the UK and Ireland.
Improve your general health
Getting outdoors not only improves your fitness, it can also help with your general health. Vitamin D is hard to get from food sources, but it can be generated from natural sunlight. Getting plenty of Vitamin D is vital for your bone health and immunity.
Walking also helps to lower your blood pressure and it can improve memory (by boosting cognitive performance) and enhance creativity in the young. This has all been proven through experimental studies from University institutions and health clinics. Walking genuinely is the best solution for improving your fitness, energy levels and your mental wellbeing.
Don't let the unpredictable British and Irish weather spoil your walking sessions, a packaway Mac in a Sac jacket is the perfect way to keep dry while staying fit.