Walking is an incredibly underrated form of exercise, it can have so many different benefits. It’s an activity we do every day without even having to think about it, but when you look into it, it can become even more amazing! If that wasn’t enough to convince you to park your car and strap on some sturdy shoes, walking can have many other benefits.
When we think of exercise, we normally think of high energy sports like running or football. But not all exercise needs to be fast paced and energetic, they can be much calmer and still gain the benefits of a strenuous workout. Whilst it might take longer to achieve this effect, the overall impact on your body is the same, if not slightly better. But how can walking for longer be better than running for shorter periods of time be better for you? Quite simply running and similar sports can have a very negative impact on your body, causing much more strain and wear and tear on areas like your knees. When we say walking though, we don’t mean a casual stroll to your local shops, we mean more along the lines of strapping on some sturdy shoes and heading off into the hills for a day. Its these kinds of long walks that can gently push your body into getting fitter, it might just be walking but it can be hard work! Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, not only is it free, but you can set your own pace and it’s incredibly convenient – you can go and have a walk whenever you want to. Did you know a 20-minute walk can burn as many as 110 calories?!
Walking isn’t just good for the body though, it’s amazing for the mind. We are all aware that we don’t get enough fresh air in our lives, and walking is the perfect way to get a breath of fresh air. There have been multiple studies investigating the effect walking can have on our mental health, and they are all pretty much unanimous in their results: walking is amazing for mental health and for so many reasons.
Not only does the exercise you get from walking release endorphins in your brain which boosts your mood, but getting out into nature and having the time to relax without the stresses of everyday life can have really positive impacts on your outlook of life as well as motivation. Additionally, because you’re away from the normal walk of life it is perfect to take a step back and forget about the small things you would normally be anxious or stressed about. Walking can help to clear up your doubts and let your brain process the hectic life you no doubt lead. Nature really is a wonderful healer! Walking can help mental health in other ways that you might not expect. For example, organising a larger walk can be great for charity fundraiser like our 60-mile hike for Alzeihmers Society. Not only do you get the moral boost by helping others you get the health benefits yourself!
A sensation we have undoubtedly experienced during our lives is that of wanderlust. It’s the feeling of wanting to adventure and explore, something we often solve with a holiday away or take a short break. Walking is often overlooked as a response to wanderlust, with so much rich countryside available in the UK you never know what you might find or where you might go if you simply go walking. If you like a pre-planned adventure there are hundreds of walking guides available that will take you through places you never even knew existed. Or if your wanderlust is particularly insatiable, learn to read a normal OS map and create your own route! It might sound scary, but you’ll never believe the kinds of things you will see on the way.
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