The lovely folk at Holland & Barrett explain some of the invigorating benefits of stretching your legs on a leisurely walk – one of the simplest ways to boost your wellbeing that is completely free
We get it, jumping in the car is sometimes much easier than walking to where we need to get to, but the benefits of walking are really worth remembering for your physical and mental health.
- Burn off calories
Walking is a simple yet effective way to exercise and burn calories, and one of the best things is that you can determine your own pace. A brisk walk is around three miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll. The NHS says that a lively 10 minute walk can be brilliant for our health and wellbeing while getting some much needed fresh air into our lungs. Generally speaking, walking burns between 90 and 350 calories per 30 minutes, depending on speed, intensity, incline and your body weight.
- Maintain normal blood sugar
Going for a walk after eating can reportedly help maintain normal blood sugar levels. One study in particular found that going for a 15-minute walk three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) helped maintain normal blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk any time during the day.
- Supports your mood
Walking can have a transformative effect on our mood. Research has shown that regular walks can alter your nervous system so much that you experience a decrease in anger, particularly if you’re surrounded by green space and the sun is shining. Walking with a friend can also be beneficial, as the interaction with other people can also help lift your spirits.
How can I get more from walking as part of my exercise routine?
There are some steps (pardon the pun!) you can take to help charge up your walking routine.
One is counting your steps on a pedometer or an app on your phone. You can begin at 3,000 steps and then aim for around 5,000 steps per day.
- Speed up a little. Instead of taking longer strides – which could place strain on your legs, ankles and feet – take faster steps to boost your walk.
- Add movement to your arms. Let your arms swing naturally, taking care not to overexert your arms and shoulders, or bend them at a 90 degree angle and pump from the shoulder.
Whether you’re picking the kids up from school, going for a stroll after dinner, walking to the shop or wandering around the block while listening to music or a podcast, walking is a great way to enjoy exercise and it’s completely free! And it’s something the whole family can do – taking the latest covid-19 guidance into account, of course.
Under the second national lockdown guidelines, our centre is now closed apart from essential stores, takeaway food and beverages and click and collect, from November 5 until December 3.
But don’t forget, essential stores that remain open are B&M along with Holland & Barratt and Grape Tree which are operating on reduced hours. To read more about how we’re operating during this time, visit https://www.lakeside-village.co.uk/2020/11/04/centre-update-wednesday-4-november/
Photo by Dmitry Schemelev on Unsplash