May is National Walking Month
May is Living The Streets’ 90th National Walking Month and with the glorious weather and lighter evenings, May provides the perfect time to get outside, and get walking.
Walking is one of the best and most easily accessible physical activities out there. It is generally free (some organised events might charge a fee or donation), you can do it whenever and wherever you like and all you need is a pair of comfy shoes or trainers and you’re off.
You can walk the streets, you can walk on the state-of-the-art treadmills at one of eight Salford leisure centres, walk in the woods, walk in the park or hike around Great Britain’s beautiful open spaces; its literally the most convenient form of exercise. Salford has a number of health walks every month, which encourage and support people to become more physically active to improve health. The walks are led by trained volunteers and can be from 45 minutes to one hour in length.
Here’s the top benefits of walking:
Good for heart health
Your heart pumps oxygen and blood around your body keeping all the other organs working so it’s vital to keep it in good health. Walking strengthens your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. A brisk walk for 30 minutes every day can reduce your risk of a stroke by 27%. Walking also reduces bad levels of cholesterol and increases the levels of good cholesterol. Result!
Helps you to lose weight
If you are new to exercise, need a low impact activity or trying to lose weight an inches, then walking is a great form of exercise. By walking 2mph for 30 minutes you will burn around 75 calories, and if you increase this to 4mph this will burn around 150 calories. 20 minutes of walking a day will burn an incredible 7lbs of body fat a year. Sign us up!
Lower the risk of dementia
An older person who walks six or more miles a week is less likely to have problems such as dementia. This is because walking has been proven to prevent your brain from shrinking.
Gives you energy
There are times when you feel more lethargic than others but never fear; a quick walk will do you good. Walking boosts your circulation and increases the oxygen supply is around your body, which in turn will keep you feeling alert and awake.
It’s a full body workout
Many different muscles in your body are activated when we walk including calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads and abdominals providing an all-round workout. There are also many apps that you can download with free walking programmes.
Increase your Vitamin D intake
In the UK many people are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. The best way to increase levels of Vitamin D is to get outside in the sunshine usually March to September in the UK.
Walking can make you feel better. In the same way walking can help you get energised, it is also great for making you feel happy. A brisk walk can be just as beneficial as taking an antidepressant, and can be a great helping hand if you are suffering from depression, anxiety or feeling stressed.
These are just some of the reasons why you should try to work in more walking to your daily routine. Whether you walk at lunchtime, or start your day with a walk, this month we are urging members and employees to walk more and feel the benefits for yourself.