If you’ve resolved to get fitter and healthier in 2021, walking is an ideal first step - and has a host of other benefits too.
Walking is the most accessible of all exercise forms, and is often the best place to start if you’re trying to get fitter and healthier.
The NHS recommends we take at least 10,000 steps a day to boost activity levels - so take every opportunity you can to walk more in your daily routine.
Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. Here's 5 great reasons to add walking to your routine!
1. IT BOOSTS YOUR MOOD
Brisk walking releases feel-good endorphins, while also helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, research shows that walking improves sleep, which translates to a better mood and sense of wellbeing.
2. IT IMPROVES YOUR BRAINPOWER
When you walk, your heart rate increases, pumping more oxygen to your brain. This releases hormones that nourish the growth of brain cells and helps process information.
3. IT CAN ENHANCE YOUR SOCIAL LIFE
2020 has not been an easy year especially when it comes to our social lives. Meeting up with a friend for a good social distancing chat while you walk outside offers plenty of opportunities to socialise safely. And, if you tend to feel shy or anxious, walking is said to reduce inhibitions, enabling you to interact better with those around you. (Ensure you follow your local rules and restrictions and always follow COVID safety measures).
4. IT BOOSTS CONFIDENCE AND SELF-BELIEF
Because it is so accessible and enjoyable, experts believe that walking has the highest compliance rate of any exercise plan. So if you struggle with keeping to a fitness routine walking can help you overcome this, boosting your confidence as you see your fitness levels improve and helping you to focus on setting bigger goals in the future.
5. IT’S GOOD FOR THE BODY AND SOUL
Walking can be a life saver, both physically and emotionally. According to the NHS, walking could save 37,000 lives per year, while the British Heart Foundation states that brisk walking can help to keep your heart strong by strengthening your cardiovascular fitness and reducing your risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure in the long-term. Getting out for a walk and taking in the beauty of the natural world can often help you to put worries and anxieties into perspective too.