Last month PRG completed a monumental charity challenge to scale the Welsh Three Peaks in an impressive 16 hours. Together the group of 20 raised nearly £5,700 for the charity Walking With The Wounded which provides care and support to veterans and their families. Following this, we have crafted an informative guide listing the interdisciplinary benefits that walking provides.
Perhaps this information will convince you to take part in a charity hiking event, pursue a new hobby, or switch up your fitness routine. Continue reading to discover more about how walking could be your vehicle towards better health.
Fitness offers many perquisites to our health, both mental and physical, but physical activity does not need to be complicated or extreme. A walk or hike offers a plethora of advantages and is more accessible to those who might have physical limitations that forbid movement that could be straining. Taking care of our health is of critical importance all year round, especially as we draw closer towards the darker, downcast months.
Walking increases your cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, aiding in life longevity and peak health. According to studies taken by American Heart Association walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by about 19%. Cardiovascular health risks may be reduced even further by increasing walking duration, distance, and intensity.
Consciously choosing to walk as your fitness of choice can improve your management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint/muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes as the body is able to expend insulin more effectively. The increased blood flow from skeletal muscle contractions when walking can improve glucose inflow due to insulin, and therefore, the increase in blood flow causes the removal of excess glucose.
Walking also assists in actively strengthening your immune system and improves blood circulation to help white blood cell activity. A study created by Harvard questioned 1,000 men and women and found that those who walked just 20 minutes a day for 5 days a week had on average 43% fewer sick days compared to those who only exercised once a week or less.
The constant support required by your feet and legs results in stronger bones and increased balance, as well as stronger muscles. Bone is living tissue and using your feet and legs constantly to support your weight, makes your bones work harder to support you. This consistent support results in stronger bones and increased balance which can lower your risk of fractures and breakages. Studies also show that walking 5-6 miles a day can reduce the risk and onset of arthritis in older generations as well as the young.
Fresh air combined with physical activity increases the chances of a better night’s sleep and can also improve your mood. During the winter, around 2 million people in the UK alone will experience SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). According to the American Psychiatric Association ‘SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and less sunlight in winter’. Regular walking can be a great way to increase your mood and counteract the effects of SAD.
If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a creative rut or bout of overthought, walking can be a great way to aid creative flow and clear your head. Walking is also ideal for reducing levels of cortisol, the hormone which causes symptoms of stress. Even just a 10 minute walk could do a world of wonder to your mental health.
Walking may considerably assist your health in the present, but it is undeniably true that by pursuing walking throughout your life you are aiding and assisting your future health drastically and in many positive ways. As we’ve explored in this piece, walking is a simple yet powerful activity that can have a profound impact on our overall well-being.
In a world that often seems increasingly fast-paced and stressful, taking time to walk can be a simple yet profound act of self-care. It not only benefits our physical health but also clears our minds, enhances creativity, and provides a moment of respite from the demands of everyday life. So, whether you’re seeking to improve your physical fitness, boost your mental health, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, consider making walking a regular part of your routine. It’s a step in the right direction towards a healthier, happier, and more balanced life.
At PRG the health of our employees is of utmost importance, and because of this, we have implemented many benefits to assist healthy living among those in our company. Some of these include free gym sessions each week, a cycle-to-work scheme, and money off medical bills through the platform MediCash.
Charity events such as PRG – We Summit For The Wounded provided PRG with a physical challenge alongside an incentive to raise money for a great cause. We can’t wait to participate in more events such as these in the future that both aid our fitness and those around us.