image

The amazing health benefits of a 30-minute walk

Right now, millions of us are limiting our outdoor exercise to a simple 30-minute walk just once per day, to help curb the spread of coronavirus,

And while you might be missing pumping iron at your local gym, or playing a game of football with friends, the many benefits of going for a solo lap around the block shouldn’t be overlooked.

A brisk walk in the spring sunshine can help to clear your mind, stretch your legs and even help you to discover some beauty spots in your local neighbourhood that you’ve previously ignored.

My Neighbor Totoro Walking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Here are a handful of other brilliant benefits to taking advantage of a daily, half an hour walk….

It’s a great way to get your vitamin D hit

“Walking has the simple benefit of getting you out of the house and into the fresh air and sunshine, where you can soak up beneficial vitamin D,” says Elliott Upton, personal trainer at Up Fitness.

Often called the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is produced in your skin in response to sunlight, and plays an important role in supporting the immune system, reducing depression and aiding the normal development of bones and teeth.

“Moving your body and getting a change of scenery from your place of residence, where you may be spending the other 23 and a half hours of the day, is a great way to break up your schedule too,” he adds.

 It can control blood pressure

Studies have found that exercise can be a useful tool in reducing and controlling blood pressure.

“Regularly exercising makes your heart stronger,” says Brendan Street, head of emotional wellbeing at Nuffield Health. “A strong heart can pump more blood with less effort, and if your heart can pump more efficiently, the force on your arteries decreases.” This, in turn, lowers your blood pressure.

If you fancy upping the heart healthy benefits, make sure to pick a local route that involves lots of steep inclines such as stairs and hills, so you can really feel the burn.

It’s low impact

With so many live Instagram workouts now taking place across the day, it can be tempting to fill your time with back-to-back HIIT sessions at home.

But not allowing yourself proper recovery time means you may see sub-optimal gains, and lack of proper rest can also impact your immune system, your susceptibility to illness, your mood and your sleep too.

Thanks to it’s gentle, low-impact nature, walking is a great recovery tool for rest days, allowing your body to repair muscle tissue and become more resilient for future exercise.

 It can keep weight down

“Walking is an excellent way to help manage your weight and body fat levels, especially during lockdown when many people will be sedentary for long periods – whether that’s being stuck at home on the sofa in front of the TV or working on a computer,” says Upton.

In particular, he notes that it’s a great way to increase your daily energy expenditure. “Walking falls into the category of NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) – daily activities including walking the dog, gardening, playing with the children, doing household chores and DIY that all add to your overall daily calorie burn.”

It can help with anxiety

As well as the physical benefits of moving your body, it can boost wellbeing too. “Low-intensity aerobic exercises, such as walking or yoga for 30 to 35 minutes, three to five days a week over 10 to 12 weeks have been shown to deliver powerful stress relief,” says Street.

“Studies show there is a strong link between exercise and improved mood, and research also shows that exercise has a positive effect on symptoms of anxiety and depression – in particular aerobic exercises, like running and cycling, but also activities like walking, and gardening.”

Anyone can do it

Perhaps the most amazing thing about walking is that pretty much anyone able-bodied can do it. It’s gentle, low-cost and is suitable for all fitness levels.

Plus, it’s the recommended form of exercise for lots of countries at the moment, so you can soak up the brilliant benefits while also keeping your community safe at the same time.

The following two tabs change content below.

The Press Association

News from the Press Association - the national news agency for the UK and Ireland

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
Lizzie23
22nd May 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Love this article on walking I have been walking everyday since Lockdown and loved it took on a challenge of 5km to walk for Cancer and completed whilst raising money really gave me a boost thinking I could help others at a time like this , I will continue to wok even will I go back to work am very grateful to have a positive out of this .
AnnJharvs
26th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
It's nice how most people are coming together but apart at this time.I've noticed on my daily walk that people smile more and say good morning and still keep the distance required. As we all expect the social distancing will last longer than we'd like but we have to smile and do our best .the great British spirit. All keep safe
page
23rd Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
What an incredible man Captain Tom Moore is,he puts the rest of us to shame...His name should be honored in some way by the government for what he has acquired for the National Health system.
Because Britain is supposed to be a nation of animal lovers, could someone start a cause to gather money for all the rescue centers and animal sanctuaries, these places rely on visitors and donations to fund these places. If help doesn't come I fear all the animals will have to be put down...After such trauma and bad beginnings to there lives has this really got to be the way there lives end.
Barton babe
24th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I agree with both your comments. The animal sanctuaries are going through a very bad time now and need help, I hope they will get it.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!