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What Can We Learn from National Walking Month?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Nowadays, it’s all too easy to live a sedentary life. We are relying increasingly on technology while giving far less weight to the importance of fresh air and exercise. This isn’t just happening in our personal lives, though; for an overwhelming number of us, work means sitting in front of a screen for eight hours a day, five days a week. Technology is an incredible tool that facilitates countless things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve. But it is crucial we stay balanced and acknowledge the importance of staying active, too.

As May is National Walking Month, this article talks about all the benefits of getting up and heading outside for fresh air and exercise.

The Benefits

For your physical health, going for a walk can do a world of good. Being a weight-bearing exercise, walking helps to increase cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness. It also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke as well as reducing body fat and strengthening your bones and muscles. A 30 minute walk a day is said to yield these benefits. Lisa Young, a physical activity specialist talks more about the benefits of walking on maintaining a healthy heart here.

But it’s not just your physical health that improves as a result of walking; Walking for Health, England’s largest network of health walks, highlights the amazing effects on your mental wellbeing. This form of exercise can improve your self-esteem, overall mood and greatly enhance your sleep quality. According to Walking for Health, walking, and staying active in general, helps older people with cognitive function, memory and processing speed.

Getting Involved

Organisations such as Living Streets are advocating for better pavements, which would enable and encourage more people to go for walks in their local area. There are links on the website detailing how you can get involved and support this campaign.

There is no obligation to take a pledge or sell your car in favour of your own two feet, but opting for a stroll when and where possible can go an incredibly long way. So why not give it a go?

Easing the Strain on Pharmacies

The positive health impacts of walking may come as a surprise. There is no magic or mad science behind this concept yet it holds true; walking has incredible power in alleviating and preventing many health issues among people of all ages. This, naturally, has a knock-on effect for those working in the healthcare industry; a more active nation is a happier and healthier one.

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