Walking to wellness this winter

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If you are looking for motivation to get out and about this winter, you may be surprised at just how little activity you need to do to boost your health and wellbeing.

Recent government and NHS studies across the UK have found that around a third of us are classed as ‘physically inactive’. That means doing less than 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week.

There is a lot of evidence that even a walk of just 10 minutes can have major benefits when done regularly.

According to UK public health chiefs, the benefits of walking include increased physical fitness, healthier weight and a 15 per cent reduction in risk of early death and keeping physically active can reduce the risk of type two diabetes by 40 per cent; cardiovascular disease by 35 per cent; breast cancer by 20 per cent; colon cancer by 30 per cent and dementia by 30 per cent.

And if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or lower back pain, just 10 minutes of daily brisk walking can help the management of those conditions too.

This is reflected in statistics from medical journal The Lancet’s 2020 Global Health Report, which suggest physical activity prevents 26,600 premature deaths in the UK per year.

And it’s not just physical health that can benefit from regular walks. According to mental health charity Mind, ‘being physically active helps people manage stress, anxiety and intrusive thoughts. It can also help improve self-esteem and mood’.

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Research suggests even short walks can have major benefits when done regularly. NO_c01walking01