Walk your way to better health
Walking is one of the easiest ways to be more active. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.
You don't have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.
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A joint report by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support in 2012 concluded that walking could transform people's health by decreasing the odds of heart problems and stroke as well as making a difference in conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's and many cancers.
In some cases, walking can be more effective than running. Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California found that brisk walking reduces the risk of heart disease more effectively than running. They observed participants aged between 18 and 80 over a six-year period and found that walking reduced the risk of heart disease by 9.3%, while running reduced it by 4.5%.
And there's even more good news: 30 minutes of brisk walking over five days could help you sleep better, according to research by Oregon State University. Their study showed that walking helped participants sleep better and feel more alert during the day.
Regular walking can also help you to:
- Burn calories and increase your metabolism
- Improve your heart rate, blood pressure and circulation
- Improve your mood and help you feel brighter
- Encourage you to discover new things in your area and feel more connected to your community