Walking and health, by Osteopath Matt Schofield, Worthing, West Sussex

Walking and health- Put your best foot forward!

It is the height of the Summer, and we have (surprisingly) had some sun! Which is a fantastic opportunity for us to get out and about to keep ourselves fit and healthy. With the success of the Olympics so far, hopefully some of you have been inspired to start looking after yourselves a bit more. But where to start? What if you have no time to go to the gym, or have never really got into training?

Depending on how fit you are, walking may be the perfect exercise for you. A brisk walk can be enough to raise your heart rate, and if you regularly go out for walks it can come along with some fantastic health benefits. Here are a few ways going out for a walk can help you.

Walking is fantastic for developing stronger bones, it’s no secret we are deprived of sun here in the UK; so much so that Public Health England have now suggested everyone over the age of 1 take vitamin D supplements during Autumn/Winter months (1).

Depending on how fast you go, a brisk half hour walk (2 miles), can burn anywhere from 140-180 calories. Which means that extra biscuit isn’t such a guilty pleasure. Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of multiple health issues, these include more chronic disorders like heart disease, asthma, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers.

Before you get into walking, make sure you have a sturdy pair of walking shoes, as this is all you will really need to get you going. Start off slowly, begin to gradually build up your distance and even try to enjoy it! The south downs are fantastic this time of year. Make the most of it, and remember if you have any aches or pains that are stopping you then the osteopaths at BOP can help you with their tailored advice and treatment.


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