Friday, 3 May 2013

Walk the walk to better health

May is national walking month, and with the weather finally improving it is the perfect excuse to get outside and sneak some exercise into your daily routine. 

Research shows that walking 8,000 steps a day significantly improves your health, not just in the short-term. In the long term walking reduces risk of long-term conditions such as heart disease, colon cancer, osteoarthritis, hip fracture and even mental illnesses such as depression and dementia. There’s no need to make huge life changes to reap the benefits of walking and exercise, here are our hints and tips to squeeze exercise into our increasingly busy lives…

  • Walk to work, the longer days and better weather make this all the more possible. If you live too far to walk try getting off the bus a couple of stops early or park further away from work. 
  • Invest in a shopping trolley and do your food shopping locally rather than driving to a super store. 
  • Walk with friends, family or your dog. Not only will this make it more enjoyable, but it is also a great bonding opportunity. 
  • Play with your kids. Rather than just watching, join in and run around with them! They’ll love it too. 
  • Take the stairs rather than the lift. If there’s too many, get out half way or just walk down them. 
  • Go on active dates! Rather than going out for dinner or to the cinema with your partner or friends play tennis or go for a cycle. 
  • Take a break from work and walk round the block. Not only will this improve your concentration but it a great way to sneak in some extra steps. 
  • Check out the Apps available for your smart phone. There are great apps out there ranging from stepometers to walking route suggestions to activity logs so you can track your progress. 
Remember, it’s little changes like these that can really make an impact to your life so don’t be daunted by '8000' steps… you may be surprised how easy and enjoyable they are to do!

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