LifeLineScreening - May 18, 2012
We all know that walking is good for us, there’s no two ways about it. The Government recommendation is that we should be aiming for at least half an hour a day of physical exercise to remain healthy. For those with a busy lifestyle – a demanding job, a family, a retirement of social plans – it’s important to make and keep good habits in order to remain fit and healthy.
Walk to Work Week has been taking place during the 14-18th of May. It is a week dedicated to raising awareness of the health and environmental benefits of walking, as well as encouraging people to experience and value the quality of the streets around them. Walk to Work Week is organised by Living Streets, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians and work to create safe, attractive streets for the public.
“When we have streets we want to walk in, lives are transformed – we are healthier, happier and more sociable.”
- Living Streets
On Tuesday Transport Minister Norman Baker stepped out in support of Walk to Work Week in a bid to raise awareness and join the many people across the country that have been taking to their streets and work places on foot. As this week draws to a close we have a great opportunity to reflect of how much walking we’ve done throughout the week and a chance for a final push.
In conjunction with Walk to Work Week, Living Streets have organised The Great British Walking Challenge. Whereby people can simply sign up and start counting their walking miles towards the nation’s totals, measured by total miles, calories burned and CO2 emissions saved by walking instead of using forms of transport with a negative environmental impact. If you haven’t had a chance to join in yet Life Line Screening would urge to add the walking that you’ve clocked up for the week – which currently stands at an impressive 7,274,216 Calories (or 13,946 muffins burned), 75,617 miles (or 3.04 times around the world) and 13,089 kg CO2 saved! You might also want to check out the mobile application designed for the government initiative Walk4Life, for walks in your area and the ability track how long you usually walk for.
Walking is an excellent activity for a number of reasons, not least because it doubles up as a mode of transport. It raises the heart rate and improves circulation, as oxygenated blood travels around the body to supply cells in need, invigorating both the muscular and respiratory systems. There has long been a debate surrounding the benefits of walking in comparison to running. So, to compare, the average person who weighs 73 kilograms (160 lbs) will burn approximately 530 calories running for an hour, or just over 300 calories walking during the same time. However, two key factors that walking has going for it is that it has a much lower risk of injury and it is typically to keep walking over longer distances than it is to run, especially without training.
Walking is also good for the mind and can provide time to clear your head, have a good think about a problem that you’ve being trying to solve, or simply take in the scenery.
So, these are some our favourite suggestions to get walking more here at Life Line Screening:
- A classic, always take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Make it a new habit to walk to work. Have a think about your route and how long you will need and plan out your journey.
- Make the most of lunch. Why not split your lunch instead of one longer break so you can pop out for some fresh air and a short walk twice. Or, how about trying to eat somewhere a bit further away than usual and explore your local area.
- Be sociable. Walking with others, you’ll find that time flies.
- Similarly, listen to music. It’s a great way to let your mind wander and a nice way to enjoy music or the radio.
- Walk on the phone. You’ll be surprised how much you move about while you’re thinking about something else.
What do you enjoy most about walking? Do you have a favourite walk? We’d love to know. To read more on healthy living and to book your next health screening with Life Line Screening visit www.lifelinescreening.co.uk.
Today is the final day of Walk to Work Week – make it count!
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