Getting out in the snow is difficult for anyone and not advised for many in case they slip but the snow won’t be around much longer so we have no excuse to get outside and walk.
Walking, they say can improve your health ten fold and some say a 10 minute brisk walk is enough and others say 20 minutes but if you can start with the 10 minutes you will soon see the benefit. It can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also help with lower back pain.
White blood cells and antibodies help in determining any illness faster. When you exercise daily, they modify these cells, helping you identify and prevent any disease. Daily workout also lessens the stress hormones that are responsible for many diseases.
If you find walking a bit boring or monotonous you could listen to endless Podcasts. Good Housekeeping has 45 of the Best Podcasts to listen to in 2021. You could learn a language. You could learn all about the spring flowers, trees and the leaves you pass on the road. If you just simply want to walk for health and some fresh air and don’t own a Fitbit then why not download an app and keep your phone in your pocket so it can register how many steps you have taken. Or, download the NHS Active 10 app ( more details below).
On the website Low Impact there is a great article called ‘Why I walk : A conversation with a walking guide’, with Emma Cunis who offers walks and nature connection events on Dartmoor, for transforming health, wellbeing and performance. Emma is passionate about the land, and our place in it. She shares how for her, it’s not all about hiking long distances, but taking time to enjoy the moment, be present and feel your connection to something bigger.
When Jessie Watson Brown of Oak and Smoke Tannery asked Emma why she loved walking, she explained that “There are many different reasons. I felt some kind of compulsion to be out, to go out, to somehow feel the ground under my body. Feel the nourishment of this exquisitely beautiful place and walking helps to ground me. I’m less in my head, more in my body. Less in the future and the past, more in the moment.
Everything slows down. Everything is gentler and more relaxed, and I started to feel better.
Then there is the physical wellbeing and health.
I also feel connection and wonder all the way back through the ages of how men and women would have walked on the land and taken pilgrimages. There are all sorts of ancient tracks on Dartmoor that people followed, ancient routes.
I walk to feel part of nature, and not separate from it.
As I’ve got older and having been unwell I walk more slowly, so I see more. And the joy and the connection of seeing a little beautiful flower or creature that I might not have spotted if I just hiked past is fantastic.“.
Healthline have a list of 10 benefits of walking which are –
- To burn calories up
- To strengthen your heart
- It can help lower your blood sugar
- To ease joint pain
- To help boost your immune system
- To boost your energy
- To improve your mood
- To extend your life
- To tone your legs
- To help creative thinking
Check out the NHS website on the benefits of walking. Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.
You do not have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. Use the Active 10 app. The Active 10 app allows you to track how much and how fast you have walked. To keep things interesting, it gives you goals to work towards and rewards your progress. Download the Active 10 from the NHS website here.
There is also a brilliant book called Every Day Nature by Andy Beer (National Trust Book) which encourages you to find beauty in the everyday and forge a powerful connection with the nature than can be found on your doorstep.