Walking. Perhaps one of the greatest paths to wellness…..
Fitness – walking improves your cardiovascular fitness.
Health risk – walking reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Silent killers – walking helps with the management of the three silent killers: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar / diabetes.
Bones – regular walking builds bone density and strength.
Strength – walking builds muscle strength.
Lean mass – walking increases your lean mass (muscle) and decreases your body fat percentage.
Sweet cravings – walking has been shown to help curb those cravings for sweets and treats.
Arthritis – regular walking can help to prevent arthritis and to manage & control it should it occur.
Immunity – walkers have almost half the risk of getting colds and flu, compared to sedentary folks.
Stress – almost any form of activity or exercise can help with stress, but walking is especially good here.
Most adults do 3000-5000 steps a day. The general and widely-used target is 10 000 steps a day. We think 8000 a day is a realistic initial goal. How many steps are you doing? There are many ways to walk more, here are 5 simple ideas:
Park further away and walk.
Take 5 or 10-minute breaks and walk a quick loop around the house or office.
Walk the dog. Or get a dog.
Go to the beach, or the park, or round the neighbourhood.
A quick 15-30 minute walk is a great way to start your day.
We are sure you can think of at least 5 more good ideas that will work for you, and then you have 10 ideas to try…
You do not need fancy gear for this. Comfortable shoes are important – no high heels please. Dedicated walking or running shoes are best but a simple comfortable shoe is fine for all but very long walks. We suggest starting at a pace you feel comfortable with (you should be able to maintain a conversation), only starting to push the pace a bit once you have been walking regularly for at least a month. Please ask your doctor if you are unsure about whether you can walk safely, and certainly if you have been completely sedentary for more than 6 months.
We are designed to walk, we can walk, it’s good for us in so many ways, and it’s not difficult……what’s stopping you?
Colin was a medical practitioner (GP) from 1988 to 2000. Since then he has worked in the wellness field, designing, developing and delivering various products and services. Out of clinical practice for many years now he no longer practices medicine formally but retains a keen interest in helping people become more-well versions of themselves. He acts as a wellness coach and not as a medical practitioner today.
Colin's approach and philosophy is based on empowerment: the notion that people only need a little help to make choices they usually already want to anyway - it's about respect and support rather than instruction or correction.
Colin lives at the Vaal Dam with his wife Cathy. He spends time walking mountains, cycling, motorbike riding, kayaking, sailing and always looking for better & better balance.