“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates
We all know that walking is good for us – it’s free, it’s sociable and it’s fairly accessible to all.
One of our volunteer rescue team members and full-time doctor, Naomi Dodds, tells us some of the physical benefits of walking.
It’s good for your heart
Obviously, the more effort you put into your walking, the greater the gains but essentially walking improves your circulation and strengthens your heart, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes. According to the Stroke Association, a daily 30-minute stroll keeps high blood pressure in check and reduces the risk of suffering a stroke by up to 27%. Added to this walking helps to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and increase the good cholesterol.
It’s a full body workout
Great activation of a lot of muscles when walking, including your glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads and abdominals.
It’s a great way to keep your weight in check
The faster your pace and further your walk, the more calories you will burn.
It’s free Vitamin D
Essential for healthy bones, roll up your sleeves when walking between April and September to allow your body to absorb Vitamin D from the sun. However, please remember to wear sunscreen and a hat if you are out for any length of time to avoid sunburn.
It’s a good way to reduce your risk of dementia
Regular walking improves cognitive brain function and can reduce the chances of someone developing vascular cognitive impairment. An older person who walks six or more miles a week is less likely to have problems such as dementia.
It’s great for giving you more energy
Feeling a bit sluggish? Walking boosts your circulation and pumps more oxygen around your body to revive you and keep you awake. It also increases levels of hormones that help elevate energy levels.
It’s good for boosting your immune system
Walking helps protect you from getting a cold or the flu. Walking regularly at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes a day increases the amount of white blood cells circulating in your blood. These cells fight infection and other diseases as part of the body’s immune system.
These are just some of the benefits of walking, so time to pop on a pair of comfortable shoes and head out of the door for a brisk walk.