Rather than hibernate away this winter why not embrace the cold weather, wrap up warm and get out and enjoy some long walks.
Benefits of Walking
Studies show that walking can:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce high cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile
- Reduce body fat
- Enhance mental well being
- Increase bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of cancer of the colon
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes
- Help to control body weight
- Help osteoarthritis
- Help flexibility and co-ordination hence reducing the risk of falls
(Sources: Davison & Grant 1993, US Dept of Health 1996, British Heart Foundation 2000)
Studies have linked regular physical activity with reduced likelihood of developing coronary heart disease. Even low- and moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, when carried out consistently, is associated with important cardiovascular health benefits.
Walking has also been shown to reduce anxiety and tension and aid in weight loss. Regular walking may help improve cholesterol profile, help control hypertension, and slow the process of osteoporosis. Recent physiological studies have demonstrated that brisk walking provides strenuous enough exercise for cardiovascular training in most adults (Journal of American Medical Association, JAMA).
Outdoor walking is great whatever the season. In winter, you burn more calories as your body uses extra energy to maintain its core temperature.
Research shows that nature has a powerful restorative effect and exercising outdoors can boost the immune system as well. Studies show that moderate outdoor exercisers get 20% to 30% fewer colds than non-exercisers do.
Walking on uneven ground boosts muscle strength and exercising outdoors increases mental agility and elevates your mood.
Walking can be done anytime, anywhere, with friends or alone. It is low impact but can still provide a great workout and will help you keep off that winter weight!