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How many steps do you manage per day?  10,000 is the government guideline but the NHS reports that most Brits only manage a measly 3-4,000!  It’s not easy to boost your walking when it’s so cold and dreary outside… but the benefits are boundless.

Here are the convincing reasons to give it a go:

 

Weight loss:  10,000 steps can burn around 400 calories which combined with a healthy diet can help you shed the pounds.

Healthy blood pressure: more walking effectively lowers blood pressure in those who tend to be on the high side.  Increasing your exercise just through walking is also preventative against heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Mood: research has shown reduction in depression, anxiety and stress.  One study showed 3 sessions of brisk walking or running per week can be as effective as antidepressants in the middle-aged.

Maintain brain function and memory: walking increases blood flow to the brain!

Reduce your risk of breast cancer:  Women who walk in their 30s and 40s can greatly reduce their risk of breast cancer (JAMA).

Get a more positive outlook through the release of glorious endorphins.

Better sleep!

Ok i’m convinced!  How can I track it?

Those of you concerned with this sort of thing will probably already have a Fitbit or a Jawbone (Christmas present, perhaps?).  Without this snazzy gadgetry just check out the health apps on your smartphone.  They may not be the most reliable but will give you a rough idea which is enough to get started/ give you a wake up call!

A basic guide: 1 mile is around 20 mins of walking and equates to around 2000 steps.

A greener world…

And in case you’re already glowing with health… do it for the planet!  Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.