Health benefits of walking

sport/healthwalks- man walking along dirt path with small black and white dogMost of us see walking simply as a means to an end, a way of getting from A to B. What most people don't realise is that walking is also one of the most effective forms of all round exercise. Walking is suitable and safe for almost everyone - regardless of age, fitness level or ability. Getting involved in regular walking can provide many benefits and have a real impact on people's physical and mental health. Did you know that regular brisk walking can:

  1. halve your risk of a heart attack or stroke
  2. burn the same amount of calories as jogging
  3. improve your blood pressure
  4. lower your cholesterol
  5. improve your confidence
  6. help you feel less stressed
  7. help you lose weight and keep it off
  8. improve the congnitive functioning of the brain
  9. reduce the risk of developing some cancers & help cancer patients deal with the challenges of cancer treatment
  10. help prevent Diabetes and help those with Diabetes manage their condition
  11. lower the risk of developing dementia in later life by up to a third

Here's how some of our regular Healthwalkers have benefitted from their walking:

  • “I’ve found the walks very friendly and a good welcome.  The walks are also helping me give up smoking.”
  • "It's been a great way to get fit and make friends.  It's amazing how a regular walk increases fitness - what started off as a difficult climb has become so much easier - proving that it really does work!! It's also fun to explore places with like-minded people and to get out and feel a million dollars for it!" 
  • “I have been joining the walks for a year now and I love it – friendly people, fantastic walk that seems different every time, helps me to feel fit (and keep my weight down!)”
  • “There is always a great welcome and the leaders go out of their way to give us great enjoyment on the Preston Park walks.”
  • “The walks have lead to me taking part in other social activities and making new friends.”
  • “Healthwalks are very important to me – they give me routine time to myself and feel much happier/calmer at end of walk.  They also give me special time with my mother (77) who walks with me most weeks.  Have recommended it to my friends.”
  • “I particularly like the challenge of this walk (Sheepcote) and enjoy the variety of people I have met and new friends I have made.  I much admire the commitment of the volunteer walk leaders and think it’s an excellent scheme – free & accessible!”
  • “I feel fitter and have made new friends who I wouldn’t have met without going on Healthwalks.”
  • “Healthwalks is great in every way, I’ve made lovely new friends and had lots of benefits to my health.”
  • “Healthwalks has been very good for getting back to normal after broken hip and other illnesses.”
  • “Health walks and general walking is the best exercise because anyone can do it!”
  • “(The walks) have got me out as I was caring for my husband who has Alzheimers, also I have not been doing much walking so it is getting me fit.“ 
  • “Since I joined Healthwalks my blood pressure has come down and my diabetes has really improved.” 
  • “I’m divorced and retired, so it’s easy to just sit in all day watching the telly.  Going on a healthwalk gets me out of the house, meeting new people, and I always go and do something fun afterwards like go to the cinema.”