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Exploring the world of exercise can be a scary idea at first.

You might think of joining a gym but are worried about fitting in with all the people who seem to know what they’re doing. An exercise class might be fun, but what about getting out of breath in front of other people? Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of downloading the couch to 5k app but haven’t run since PE in school. You are not alone if you’re not sure where to start when it comes to exercise.

When it comes to finding an exercise routine, the most important thing is finding something you enjoy. Once you discover the joy of movement, in whatever form of activity you pick, you’re much more likely to stick to it.

Have you considered walking as a form of exercise to try?

Walking is a wonderful way to get yourself moving. You may think it might not have much of an impact on your health, but you’ll be surprised just how beneficial it can be. Bonus: it’s completely free and a fantastic start to getting fitter.

Muscles & Joints

Walking loosens up muscles and joints, which can become particularly tight or stiff especially if you are sitting down for long parts of the day. This means that walking on a regular basis can help your body with aches and pains.

If your job involves you sitting down most of the day, why not try to go on a short stroll during your lunch break? Or perhaps go for a potter after work. You can make your walking routine fit around your lifestyle.

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Heart Health

Any physical activity helps to lower the risks associated with cardiovascular disease, and walking is no exception to this. Walking helps strengthen your heart and improve its health. A stronger heart can deliver more blood with every heartbeat. When you exercise, your heart gets better at delivering nutrients and oxygen to your body. This means that walking regularly can lower your risk of having a heart attack. It also raises good cholesterol, while lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure.

Weight Loss

Walking increases your heart rate, which makes you exert energy and burn calories, just like other forms of physical activity. There are lots of different factors which can impact how many calories you burn: how fast and far you go, what kind of terrain you’re walking on, and your weight.

Everyone walks at different speeds, see if you can increase your pace each time you walk. The NHS suggest that a brisk walk is 3 miles an hour. You’re still able to talk but wouldn’t be able to sing the words to a song. We’ve provided some tips below on how you can gradually build up your walking routine.

Mental Health

Walking doesn’t only benefit your physical health; it can help you mentally as well. Walking releases endorphins – also known as our happy hormones. If you are struggling with low mood or notice that you feel anxious, walking can be a real gamechanger in helping you to feel better.

With our busy and hectic schedules, it can be hard to switch off from day-to-day stressors. Spending time outdoors, helps you to get away from some of those stressors, such as alerts on your phone and computer and helps you to appreciate and enjoy your surroundings. Even just a short walk helps to clear the mind.

Being Outdoors 

We’ve explored the health benefits of being outdoors and walking is a great way to access the benefits. Even if you don’t live near nature, being outside is still good for you. It improves your mood and your sleep. Plus, it increases your Vitamin D levels and helps improve your brain functions. No matter where you walk, your body and mind will benefit from getting out and about.

Tips for Walking

Start Small 

Small progress is still progress. Even a brisk 10 minute daily walk can help you. You can build on how much walking you can do in small, gradual, steps.

Make a Habit 

Try to find ways you can make walking part of your daily routine. For instance, are there any trips you take where might be able to walk instead of using a car? Could you take the stairs rather than the lift?

Variety

Once you start going on longer walks, you can look for new walking routes to give you a bit of variety and notice your surroundings each time you go out.

Be Mindful 

Pay attention to how you feel after each walk to remind yourself of how good it feels. Walking is so good for you and it’s great to remember how much it’s benefitting your physical, and mental health.

At MoreLife we love to help our clients discover the joy of movement. If you want to start taking the first steps on your healthy lifestyle journey, check out our services to find out how we can help you.

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