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Why walking is good for your body as well as your mind

You may not be aware, but May celebrates National Walking month. Walking is a great way to stay active as it can be done anywhere, for free.

As we move into the summer, we’re enjoying more hours of daylight which means that even if you have a busy day, you can still fit in a walk after work. Walking at a brisk pace for just 30 minutes a day can help to prevent and control problems such as high blood pressure. It can even reduce the possibility of having a stroke, according to the Stroke Association. It also counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise (source: NHS physical activity guidelines for adults).

Other benefits of walking include:

  • Helping to maintain a healthy weight

  • Preventing and managing various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes

  • Strengthening your bones and muscles

  • Improving your balance and coordination

  • Increasing your stamina

Walking is not just good for your body, it is also proven to be good for your mind. It can help improve your mood and is also a good way to reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue as it gets the blood pumping around your body. When you exercise, your body also releases endorphins which calm anxiety and lift your mood.

There is also evidence to suggest that people who are physically active reduce the risk of becoming depressed (source: Mind) and exercise can be effective at helping people with anxiety and depression recover.

Other mental benefits include:

  • Clearer thinking

  • Increased self-esteem

  • Better quality of sleep

  • Improved social connections and making friends

In older people, staying active can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Incorporating a walk into your busy daily routine may seem like a challenge, but there are some simple steps you can take to improve your wellbeing;

  1. Get off the bus one stop earlier or park further away – this is an easy way to build up your steps and include exercise in your daily routine, without taking too much time out of your day

  2. Take a lunchtime walk – being active for just 15 minutes will help improve your health, as well as giving you time to think and space away from your computer

  3. Go for a walk with a friend – rather than catching up at a coffee shop or at home, take a walk around your local area with family or friends

At LivingCare we offer a host of private healthcare services, including primary healthcare. This includes a private GP (doctor), clinics for weight management and health and wellbeing, counselling and physiotherapy. If you would like to speak to us for further advice about getting active, or find out more information about our services, please call 0113 249 4655 and a member of our team will be happy to help you.

For our private services, you don’t need to be referred by another consultant, you can contact us directly.


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