Walking for Wellbeing

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This article has been provided by Hi-Tec, 02 April 2011
Walking can help to improve your mental health
The stresses and strains of everyday life can get to us all at some point, and whether that materialises into something as serious as depression or simply puts you in a bad mood, walking can help to improve your mental health. The very fact that you’re out and about exercising means your body will be releasing endorphins which will boost your mood, but if you can make it to a local park or the countryside you’ll have the additional boost of seeing mother nature in action all around you. Just ask Bill Oddie- the famous bird watcher, who suffers from depression, has stated in past interviews that contact with nature helps him when he’s feeling down.

Walking can help to prevent illnesses
While that might sound like a somewhat outlandish statement- it’s true! In 2010, a study by the World Cancer Research Fund found that about 10,000 cases of breast and bowel cancer could be prevented in the UK each year if people did more brisk walking, while researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine discovered that regular daily walking strengthens the brain’s memory circuits. They recommend that those with Alzheimer’s should walk five miles per week to reduce the chances of the disease getting worse and that by walking six miles per week, healthy people could to reduce their chances of developing it.

Walking can help you to live longer
Experts have found that regular exercise is linked with reduced mortality rates, meaning that walkers live longer. If you don’t believe us, you might believe Jane Dall; at 106-years-old, she told her local newspaper that her long life and good health were due to walking everywhere. In fact, she’d never even owned a car! If you want a more scientific explanation, it is said that healthy and active people have about half the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to unfit, inactive people.

Walking can strengthen your immune system
Fed up of winter colds? Walking might just be the answer. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that regular 30-minute walks increase levels of leukocytes in the body. These are part of the family of immune cells that fight infection, so the more of them your body is producing, the better! Walking also increases levels of oxygen in your blood, which helps to boost your immune system, again helping you to fight off those nasty colds!

Walking can help to strengthen your bones
While you may associate walking, particularly over bumpy or uneven ground, with sprained ankles and embarrassing tumbles, it’s actually the case that those who have been walking regularly for some time are less likely to fall and suffer injuries because they have stronger bones. Of course, supportive walking boots are still an important purchase to make before you start walking regularly, but once you get going, your joints will have a better range of movement and your muscles will become more flexible- which will certainly improve your wellness!

For more walking tips and kit advice visit www.Hi-Tec.com.

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