12 Oct Step into Spring
Daylight saving is here! This means more daylight hours and warmer weather making it easier to get outside. If you have been thinking about getting more physically active, walking might be a great option for you to start now. There are many great benefits to walking, both in the short term and also for your long term wellness. The act of walking is a fundamental movement of the human body and the best thing is, you can start small and increase slowly. Once you have established a habit and those endorphins start pumping, you’ll find yourself wanting to do it just because it makes you feel so good!
If you are sedentary, start by walking at a comfortable pace for 10-15 minutes a day and gradually increase your pace and distance as you start to feel more comfortable. Once you have created a habit of a daily walk you can keep it interesting and push yourself a little further, try alternating 3 minutes of high intensity then 3 minutes of gentle walking for 20-30 minutes.
Regular walking can help to reduce the risk of certain health-related conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. It improves your:
• heart rate and circulation
• muscle strength – which is essential for doing everyday activities
• bone strength – which also decreases your risk of osteoporosis (which causes brittle bones)
• balance – which can help to reduce the risk and severity of falls
• energy expenditure – which burns kilojoules and helps you lose or maintain a healthy weight
• overall health and wellbeing
• stress levels
If you are finding it difficult to gather the motivation to get started then maybe finding someone to walk with will help you to make a commitment – to them, and therefore to the walking. You can also talk to your GP about whether a Green Prescription might be suitable for you. Green Prescription is a support service to help you increase your physical activity, which will improve your health and make you feel better at the same time. For more information contact us on 03 4430725.
For more information about why walking is important, watch this short video:
Resources: Ministry of Health NZ