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Benefits of walking and getting in those steps

Jan 30, 2021

We are in the middle of the UK’s 3rd lockdown, and it’s safe to say we’re starting to get a bit fed up! 

Due to the fact that the latest restrictions have again shut down our social lives, many of us have swapped gyms and exercise classes for the great outdoors! Since the beginning of lockdown, there has been a huge surge in the amount of people taking up hiking as a new hobby. In fact, one of the most effective and easiest ways you can keep yourself going physically and mentally, is to go out walking!

Benefits of Walking:

1. It burns calories

Going out for a walk burns calories which in turn, helps towards reaching your fitness goals. Your weight and the distance you walk, are obviously going to determine how many calories you burn. Walking can also strengthen the muscles in your legs too!

2. Improves heart Circulation

Walking can reduce the risk of heart disease. It also gives you the added advantage of bringing up the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening the heart. 

3.  Improves your mood  

Staying cooped up in our homes for months on end has certainly taken a  toll on our mental health. One of the best ways to beat the blues is to walk for 15-30 minutes, to lighten up your mood. It can help towards reducing anxiety, depression, and just make you feel better!

4. Improves Sleep

There's many factors at the minute that could be giving us sleepless nights, money worries, the stress from home schooling etc. And working from home daily makes your mind tired but not your body! These things could all result in disturbed sleeping patterns. Taking a walk after a long day, can help you to relieve insomnia. 

5. Strengthens your joints

Another benefit of walking is that it makes your bones stronger. Things like decreasing wear and tear on your muscles, reducing the risk of injuries and improving your overall balance, are all benefits of this.

How much walking should we do? 

You may have heard from different sources that 10,000 steps a day is what we should be aiming to do, and even though that's a good number to aim for, it's not accurate for every individual. In fact, 10,000 steps a day for some, might feel quite overwhelming and an impossible number to reach.

If you currently are only walking 2000 steps a day, then 10,000 steps is going to seem a little unrealistic to you. If you're using a fitness tracker, see how many steps you're doing on a typical day, and then aim to keep increasing them. 

Here's a couple of tips for increasing your steps...

  • Build up slowly - Adding 1,000 steps per day may seem a little more manageable than say adding 5,000 steps.  You could set an initial time related goal of adding an extra 5-10 minutes of walking time per day, which would lead to an 1,000 step increase per day. Then, as that becomes easier slowly add more time and steps.
  • Make an effort to move more throughout your day. Walk to work or the shops, or park further away and take the stairs rather than taking the lift. All these types of things add up to your daily steps count.

With everything that's going on at the minute, walking could be the ideal mood-booster to get you through you through lockdown.

'Those boots were made for walkin’,  as they say. So, grab your boots and get out for a stroll!

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