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May 2018 – Blog on Stay Healthy, Stay Walking

Lucy Sherry’s monthly health blog is now available in podcast form! Click below to listen, and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future entries.

Why Should We Build a Walking Movement?

Well, Nietzsche once said that “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”.

Less philosophically, however, the statistics paint a worrying picture of the UK’s changing attitude to one of the simplest and healthiest forms of exercise. Just a generation ago, for instance, 70% of us walked to school—now it is less than half. Only 66% of men and 56% of women in England claim to meet the recommended amount of physical activity per week.

The Living Streets Organisation believe that we need cities that are designed around people, not motor vehicles, which cause congestion and pollution that can lead to preventable illnesses. National Walking Month, an incentive that takes place during May is designed to encourage thousands of people across the country to make walking a bigger part of their daily lives.

Walking can’t be restricted to a single month of the year of course, but hopefully the awareness and participation will encourage healthier lifestyles all year round. According to the Mental Health Foundation, physical activity can be as effective as medication and counselling for your psychological health.

8 Reasons Why You Should Choose to Walk:

  1. It is a way to get in some morning (and/or evening) exercise.
  2. It will make you feel less strained;
    A recent study from researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research found that people who switched their modes of commute from driving to walking or cycling experienced greater well-being, specifically a greater ability to concentrate and to feel less fraught.
  3. It could help you think up a creative solution to that work problem;
    A Stanford University study showed that people do better on tests for creative thinking when they walk, compared with when they sit.
  4. You’re being a good influence on those around you;
    Your partner and other co-workers are more likely to bike or walk to work if you do it, according to a Penn State University study.
  5. It will not take as long as you think it will!
  6. You could be lowering your risk of chronic conditions;
    Walking and cycling instead of driving to work is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, according to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Walking to work is also associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure.
  7. It could lessen your genetic tendency toward obesity;
    Researchers from Harvard presented a study in 2012 showing that it is possible to cut the effects of a genetic predisposition to obesity in half if you walk at a brisk pace for an hour each day. Whilst researchers from the University of Quebec found that walking 10,000 steps a day or more is associated with a lower body fat percentage among 50 – 70-year-old women.
  8. It will get you in the right frame of mind for a busy workday ahead;
    Walking outdoors through green spaces can put the mind in a meditative state, according to a 2013 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

If you live in a city, ‘Walkit’ has an interactive walk planner to help you find the best walking route. Each suggested route includes your journey time, calorie burn, step count and even your carbon saving to make you feel even more virtuous! Did you know that around 2kg of carbon is saved for every short journey made walking or using a bike instead of a car?

Hikideas, on the other hand, uses a tool that can be used for planning both urban and non-urban walks. In just 20 minutes you burn on average of 164 calories. Just a brisk 10-minute daily walk (the time you spend walking half a mile to the station), will add up to 100 minutes over the course of a week. This has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

So, what are you waiting for? Even if you’re not very active now, increase your walking distance over time and you’ll soon reap the benefits and find that it becomes a very healthy habit.

Further reading:

https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/what-you-can-do/campaigns/national-walking-month-2018

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/walk-to-work-health-benefits_n_5823362?guccounter=1

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/walking-for-health/

http://walkit.com/?welcome

https://www.hikideas.co.uk/walk-planner.html

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-you-can-do/cycle-and-walk-work/why-cycling-or-walking-work-great-your-health

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Catch up with Lucy Sherry’s previous blog posts

April 2018 – Blog on Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM)
March 2018 – Blog on the Importance of Good Oral Health
February 2018 – Blog on World Thinking Day – 22nd February
January 2018 – Blog on Losing Weight with The High Calcium Diet
December 2017 – Blog on World AIDS Day 2017
November 2017 – Blog on Antibiotic Resistance – Causes, consequences and how you can help
We’ve been nominated for Employer of the Year!
October 2017 – Blog on Why Eating Curry is Good for Your Health
September 2017 – Blog on Challenge the Stigma of Dementia
August 2017 – Blog on Road Victims Awareness Month – August 2017
July 2017 – Blog on Group B Strep Awareness Month
June 2017 – Blog on Brain Food!
May 2017 – Blog on Why Eating Less Meat Could Help Save the Planet!
April 2017 – Blog on the EWG’s Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen
March 2017 – Blog on Going Sugar-free this Lent
February 2017 – Blog on Antibiotics in Animal Feed & the Rise of the Superbug; 1 Reason Why I was Vegetarian!
January 2017 – Blog on Alcohol; a harmless social escape or a dangerous poison?
December 2016 – Blog on Our annual Christmas binge & January famine!
November 2016 – Blog on Battling Stress at Work
October 2016 – Blog on The Taboos About Men’s Mental Health

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