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Walking: Why Taking Up Walking Might Be The Best Decision You Make This Year

Jan 16, 2017

Ok ok, before you click away, I know you have probably been bombarded with all sorts of messages already about how January is ‘the time to become a better you.’ I’m not sure how many more diet packages or gym memberships I can see before I go mad! But there is one thing it made me think about – I could stand to move a little more. Now I hate gyms, and my diet is absolutely fine, so instead of spending a fortune on a gym membership, I’ve just started walking. Nothing special or glamorous, just throwing on my trainers and going for a little walk every day. I’ve also started including more walking events in the Spice event timetable, so you can all join me and enjoy rambling around the countryside.

 

It’s Good For Your Waistline

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way with first. Walking is a good way to start losing weight without becoming a gym bunny. That’s because it is encouraging you to move around more, which burns a lot more calories than sitting stationary all the time. You’ll burn around 75 calories by walking at an average pace of 2mph (not dawdling or sprinting) for 30 minutes. Up your pace to 3mph and you’ll burn 99. Speed up a bit more to 4 mph and you will burn 150 calories in that 30-minute walk, which is the equivalent to 3 Jaffa cakes and a jam doughnut! All it takes is a quick stroll after you’ve eaten lunch, or once around the block before dinner. Working that simple change into your routine could help you see real results without the sweaty gym gear.

 

Strengthen Your Heart & Prevent Dementia

Regular walking is a great little cardio exercise – one that strengthens all the muscles in your heart by working them a little harder. It also lowers the levels of LDH (the bad cholesterols) in your heart, while increasing the levels of HDL (the good kind of cholesterol). A brisk walk every day helps prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes. Studies have also shown that older people who walk six miles or more a week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve their memories as the years pass. Since dementia affects 1 in 14 people over 65 and 1 in 6 over 80, we reckon going to a walk is a pretty good idea!

 

Boost Your Vitamin D Intake

At this stage in our evolution, every human needs to get outside more. We were a happier species when we lived outdoors, largely because we were exposed to a lot more vitamin D from the sunlight. Many people in the UK are now vitamin D deficient, which affects energy, bone health and your immune system. By getting outside during the day (even if the sun is hidden behind thick clouds) will expose you to more vitamin D and help improve your health, not to mention get you away from those florescent office lights!

 

Walking Gives You Energy And Makes You Happy

Even if you hate exercising, you will find yourself in a better mood after a workout of any level. That’s because your brain is wired to respond positively to exercise and releases endorphins – the chemical that makes you happy. Studies have shown that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants for treating mild to moderate cases of depression, without all the nasty side effects. It also increases your energy levels, bosting circulation and increasing oxygen supply to every cell in your body and making you feel awake. Perfect for combating that mid-afternoon slump.

 

Sound good? I hope so! At Spice we run loads of walking events for different abilities, from a leisurely stroll around some pretty lakes to treks up challenging hills and even Nordic walking classes for some cheeky social exercise. So if you want to get walking this year, we can help. Our next walk is on the 29th of January near Newbury, and you can book on using this link here.

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