Walking for Life 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.
Walking for life was set up in 2000 and now has over 600 local schemes with 66,000 regular walkers nationwide. To find the health walk schemes closest to you, just enter your postcode or place name in the search box on the site or see what’s on offer in your part of the country by clicking on your local region on the map.
You’ll then find all the information you need to either join the group for one of their regular walks or contact your local scheme coordinator to find out more.
Walk4Life is another great site with lots of information. The Walk4Life website is 6 years old and although not the prettiest of sites they think it is still a really useful tool to use to plan a walk .
Funding for the website from the Department of Health ended 4 years ago. Since then Walk Unlimited have been self-financing the project; sadly, they can’t afford to do this forever. In addition to hosting and maintaining the site they pay Ordnance Survey for every map view. With over 50,000 visits a month the running costs are high.
They have introduced a subscription fee of £5.00 for 12 months. The £5 a year gives you unlimited access to all Ordnance Survey maps at the very useful zoom levels of 25K and 50K. Using these base maps you can create and save your own walks by plotting the line of the route.
You can view 1000’s of other walk routes on OS maps created by other members of the site and you can also log and track your walking activity or create your own walking group with its own administration area and create walking challenges.
This month’s back pain tips include –
Start walking. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to help to relieve back pain. A recent study found that a group of low back pain patients who did 3 hours brisk walking per week had considerably less pain and distress than a group who were given specific low back exercises.
Walking helps exercise many the muscles in the Musco skeletal system, which in turn help provide support to the spine. I can honestly say that my endorphins always kick in if I manage to get out for a walk.
If you drive, do pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car together. Getting out is the reverse. It may look cumbersome but many a bad back is triggered by getting in or out of the car the wrong way. Ensure if you are driving any distance that you take regular breaks and have a walk around.
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.
Did you know that British people sit for 8.9 hours each day (on average)? Get Britain Standing is a dynamic campaign to increase awareness and education of the dangers of sedentary working and prolonged sitting time. Regular minor movement whilst at work is essential for us to:
- keep our bodies healthy
- prevent illness & relieve stress
- liberate us & make us more productive
Active Working and standing desk workstations deliver a compelling solution, enabling us to mix up sitting with intermittent periods of standing. More of some of these later in the post.
In recent years a variety of major international research has produced compelling evidence that sitting for more than 4 hours each day leads to:
- Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down
- Reduced calorie burning (Metabolic rate)
- Disrupted blood sugar levels
- Increased insulin and blood pressure levels
- Leg muscles switch off
Irrespective of your level of physical activity, the result leads to increased risks of Heart disease, Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer, Backache, Dementia, Depression, and Muscle degeneration.
Get Britain Standing
are holding an On Your Feet Britain Day on Friday 27th April 2018. Take part in their national day when workers across Britain unite together and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess
at work. It’s FREE to sign up, simply register here
The On Your Feet Britain Challenge dares you to take James Brown at his word and convert ‘sitting time’ to ‘standing time’. Follow some simple changes – Ditch your usual lunch ‘al desko’ and take a stroll outside. You’ll get a spring in your step and feel better for it. Stand during phone calls, stand and take a break from your computer every 30 minutes, use the stairs, have standing or walking meetings, walk to your colleague’s desk instead of phoning or emailing them, stand at the back of the room during presentations.
So Friday 27th April 2018
is your chance to get the ball rolling and encourage your employees to take a stand. Team up with colleagues and see how much “sitting time” you can reduce on the day. Check out their challenge page
for fun and easy ideas to take part. Why not take on a team challenge? Join-up with your co-workers and work together and compete with other teams within your organisation[More info]
. There are a number of companies
who make different types of stand-up desks or you could make your own.
Mike Dilke the owner of Relaxback UK
and radio presenter on UK Health Radio
is the founder of a unique backapp chair ( and desks) specifically designed to help people who suffer from back pain. The Back App
will ensure an excellent posture and provide a workout for the core muscles that support your back.It does this by allowing you to sit with an open hip angle and constantly makes you balance as you sit keeping you alert and providing a low level workout. You only have to hear some of the testimonials
from people who have bought some of Relaxback UK’s
products to hear the difference they have made to people’s lives.