Walking - One of the best things you can do for you!

Walking - One of the best things you can do for you!
Photo by Emma Simpson / Unsplash

I love walking! It is something I do every single day - rain or shine; Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn (every season has some walking joy to offer). On the very rare days I don't walk anywhere, I just don't feel quite right, just a bit off in an undefinable way.

I've mentioned before on here (https://www.slaynt.com/why-walk/) that walking was 'prescribed' as a way to strengthen my one remaining 'Superlung' after having major surgery. However, walking has given me so much more over the years.

I wasn't always a 'walker'. Though I walked a lot as a child of the late 70s/80s, I was definitely a teenager who would rather stay in the car than climb a mountain. My return to walking came in my early twenties, spurred on by a desire to get out in nature and see the world, and hasn't stopped since - I've walked in the UK, oversees, as part of dedicated walking holidays or just on a more spontaneous whim. I've walked many, many thousands of miles, mainly made up of daily local walks.

The thing about walking is that it is the ultimate flexible exercise. You can do it from your door, vary your speed and length, do it with others or alone, as part of a commute somewhere or just for the sheer leisurely pleasure. The possibilities are endless and that is what I love - I never get bored.

I love the sense of being connected to something bigger that I get from walking outside. Great joy comes from seeing the newly born cygnets on the canal, a sparrowhawk hovering over the sand dunes, the snowdrops, bluebells and wild garlic budding in late Winter/Spring. When I'm walking I feel healthier, I gain a sense of perspective, I can think through issues and problems. There is something truly meditative that happens when you put one foot in front of the other.

It's not necessarily my best look but I couldn't be happier!!!!

So that's a little bit about what walking does for me but we can't forget that there are many other well-publicised health benefits that come from walking. These include:

  • Walking is good for your heart - It helps reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and improve blood sugars
  • Walking is great for your joints without putting too much pressure on them - Lubricating your joints and keeping you flexible are key things that happen as part of a regular walking habit
  • Walking helps to ensure you get fewer infections - By improving your immune system through helping with better sleep and reducing inflammation
  • Walking might help you stay cancer free - Walkers show reduced prevalence of some cancers such as bowel and kidney cancers
  • Walking supports you to reduce stress - It benefits our mood by increasing positive chemicals in the body and helps you feel better in yourself
  • Walking allows you to take advantage of getting out in nature and, if you take someone with you, you get to have a chat and draw on the benefits of social engagement too - it's a great way to solve problems and alleviate loneliness

So, if you are to develop one habit this Summer, why not make it to go for a walk regularly. You won't regret it and it is a brilliant commitment you can make in terms of your mental, emotional and physical health! Why not also subscribe to this blog for more wellness tips straight to your inbox - that would be a pretty positive thing to do too.