Walking for health encourages people to get active by arranging health walks up and down the Country for all levels of fitness.
Walking will improve stamina, help keep weight gain at bay and reduce your risk of major diseases. 20 minutes of walking can burn up 100 calories.
It is also beneficial for SAD sufferers who feel low and lathargic due to the lack of sunlight in the winter months. At this time of year one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.
Its the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.
One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.
Also they say that Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual
Walking for life was set up in 2000 and now has over 600 local schemes with 66,000 regular walkers nationwide.
For more details of walks in your area go to the Walking for Health website.