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Walking for Mental & Physical Health


Walking – it’s one of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise. Affordable, with minimal equipment needed for a low-level country walk, and no special equipment or clothes required for urban walking, it can be done anywhere and at any time of the day. But did you know that walking has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health? In this article, we’ll delve into the many benefits of walking and why it should be a part of your daily routine.

Lowering the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Walking regularly can help reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, particularly heart disease. According to the British Heart Foundation, walking 2,000 steps daily has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 8%. Walking can also lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, a study published in Diabetes Care found that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking per day can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by up to 30%.

Improving Cardiovascular Health

Walking is considered an important form of exercise for many reasons, but its primary benefit is that it’s good for the heart. It has cardiovascular advantages, including better circulation, which helps blood to flow around the body more efficiently. Regular walking can also reduce your resting heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and LDL (bad cholesterol).


Boosting Mood

Walking is not just good for physical health but also mental health. Studies have shown that walking can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve mood. Walking outdoors in green spaces can also reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Girl with backpack walking a country trail
Fresh air and scenery, coupled with even moderate exercise is a real mood-booster

Strengthening Bones and Muscles

Strong bones and muscles are important for overall health and well-being. Walking is a great way to keep your bones and muscles strong, particularly in your legs and hips. Regular walking can also reduce the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis and lower back pain.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Walking is an excellent way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. By burning calories and improving your metabolism, walking can help you lose weight or prevent weight gain. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, walking for just 30 minutes a day can burn up to 150 calories.


Making Walking Fun

Walking in the peak district brings its own rewards in the sights, sounds and fresh air. But walking in your local town or city doesn’t have to be monotonous, and finding different ways to make it fun can help keep you motivated. Exploring new routes and local history, walking with friends, listening to music or audiobooks, or setting yourself challenges to walk a certain distance or to walk a route drawing a picture on Strava can all make walking more enjoyable. Regular walking in your local area is a great way to get ready for taking on more challenging country walks.

Family walking in the hills
Walking can be a fun family activity away from all the modern distractions of bleeping devices and attention-demanding screens

In conclusion, walking is an excellent form of exercise that offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being. It is low-impact, accessible to everyone and can be incorporated into daily life easily. Whether you’re walking to work, taking a stroll during your lunch break, or exploring a new trail, regular walking has numerous health benefits and should be included as part of a healthy lifestyle. So, lace up your shoes and start walking your way to better health!