Friday, 20 June 2014

Walking your way to health

Eeeee, aint this sun grand, makes you want to get out and walk. And so, the topic today is walking. My friend is a member of the Ramblers, he goes out once or twice a week on group walks, and he also gets a magazine sent through the post, four times a year. When he has finished with it he passes it on to me, and when I have finished with it I pass it on to another friend who likes walking. 
Something in this copy caught my eye, and I am going to pinch bits from the article to pass on here. You might find it interesting. The title, '20 reasons why walking can change your life and the world you live in'. This is about a new report from the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support, on how walking has major benefits to the health, the economy, and the environment. Some of them we all know about, but this report backs up the obvious benefits with real facts. 
1. Physical inactivity is responsible for 17% of early deaths in the UK, and 6% of deaths around the world, making it the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.

2. A major study comparing the health impact of brisk walking with running found that walkers benefited as much as runners from a reduced risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, as long as they used the same amount of energy over a longer period.

3. 12,061 emergency admissions in England for coronary heart disease could be avoided each year if everyone did the Government's recommended level of exercise, and heart disease and related strokes could be cut by up to 35%

4. Studies on the brains of older people have shown that keeping physically active can improve cognitive function, memory, and processing speed, and reduce the risk of dementia.

5. The mental health charity Mind, recommends that outdoor activities should be recognised as a clinically valid treatment for mental distress. Studies have shown that it improves your self perception and self esteem, and produces feelings of well being.

6. Walking improves sleep quality.

7. Walking is free, you don't need an expensive gym membership, and you don't need any special equipment, and will save money on making shorter journeys on foot.

8. Walking is proven to blunt the effects of blood sugar spikes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes in high risk individuals. If everyone in England was sufficiently active nearly 3000,000 cases of diabetes could be avoided each year.

9. Physically active older people are up to 68% less likely to fracture a hip, and are far less prone to falls because of the stronger bones.

10. Like many developed countries, England is experiencing a serious inactivity crisis. 61% of adults and 30% of children between 2 and 15, are classed as overweight or obese. Walking for Health is is England's largest network of health walks, supporting and engaging an inclusive programme that meets the needs of local people.

I have summarized a few of the reasons how walking can change your life. If you want to read the full report click on the link to the Walking for Health web site, and click on Walking Works, Our new report. There are also links to help you find a group in your area if you don't want to walk alone.

There is a lot of useful information in the Ramblers magazine. Top ten walks from around Britain, with maps, to keep for reference. Stories of volunteers working hard to keep footpaths open. Ask the experts feature. Reports of walks in other countries. Walking events around the country. And lots of ideas of where to walk.

Although I am not keen on walking in groups, I have decided to join the Ramblers. They are a charity and do a lot of work to keep the footpaths open. I have been out today with my shears chopping back the vegetation on a footpath in my village. It was getting rather overgrown and wading through waist high nettles wearing shorts is not very nice.

The annual membership fee is £33, for a pensioner it is £20. I have paid with £11 of Tesco Clubcard vouchers, so Ramblers will get the money from Tesco. If you want to read up about the Ramblers, go to their web site. 

Have I inspired anyone to get walking? It doesn't have to be a ten mile slog, it can be what ever you want it to be, as long as you get off your bum and do something. I will be out tomorrow. Starting at the Humber Bridge I shall be walking across it and along the Yorkshire Wolds Way, to meet up with some guys from the Walking Forum. They will be on the last leg of their long walk, and when I meet them I will turn round and walk back with them. Looking forward to it. Let me know how much walking you are doing this weekend, or anytime, it isn't just a weekend activity. Any spare hour will do, any day you like.
Toodle pip.

26 comments:

  1. I enjoy walking but have a lot of problems with my feet. I try to get out for 30 minutes or so once or twice a week, but my feet don't much like it, and give me quite a lot of pain afterwards. A bit of a bummer when I'm only 54!!

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    1. Dormouse, last summer I had to miss a cruise to Italy, Greece, and Croatia with my mom and sister, because in mid April I badly damaged my right ankle. Was walking with a brace and a cane for awhile. My podiatrist suggested only wearing athletic shoes with good support or hiking boots (ditto)... no cute sandals, no flip-flops, no slippers... even around the house. You could get fitted for orthotics, too. Anyway, little by little I've been able to increase the amount of time I can walk so that now I can go antiquing with my husband for hours on a weekend without pain. If I'm on uneven ground, I use a cane. Next step (pun intended) is to start walking for exercise during the week. My 81 yr. old mom walks a mile every morning. I'd like to be able to do that. Well... maybe not *every* morning. :-)

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  2. The philosopher Kierkagaard says that 'you can walk yourself out of anything', meaning, illness, depression, etc etc. I believe that he is right. Good post Ilona

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  3. Totally agree, I have a crumbling spine and nerve damage. It took weeks to get back on my feet and several to be able to walk to the end of the drive, little by little I walked further and further and ended up rescuing a house full of dogs so I could walk them and have a purpose rather than look like I was casing up peoples houses!

    My health is better and the dogs got a new home, everyone's a winner.

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  4. Hi Ilona, thanks for your comment over at mine. I'm walking in Nottinghamshire....so not that far from you. I read all these points with interest and they reinforced why I love walking.
    I hope you have a great time tomorrow...you are an inspiration.
    Jacquie x

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  5. We love walking - having a dog makes us get out even when we don't feel like it! Yesterday we walked a circuit of Brown Clee (Shrophire's highest peak and our favourite local walk) - fabulous views all round from a 1000 plus feet and hardly a soul in sight...perfect!

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  6. We became a car-free household on 1st April, so I've been walking a lot more! I used to have a lot of joint pain after walking on hard surfaces, even if I wore well supported footwear. Since I adopted a plant -based diet 2 years ago the pain has disappeared, which means I no longer suffer agonies after going out walking.

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  7. My lovely hubby and I love walking but both of us suffer on and off with bad knees so don't do as much as we used to. I do try and get out every day for a couple of miles walk into town and back and we still do as much as we can at weekends and during holidays. We recently walked six miles which is our furthest yet, but suffered for it the following day. A bit of discomfort doesn't put us off, though, we just have to take things a bit easier these days. I did the Race for Life last weekend, over 3 miles in 53 minutes, raising money for cancer charities.

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  8. You have inspired me to start walking again! I broke my ankle in Jan, and it has taken so long to recover from surgery. Still have a bit of a limp, but hopefully I will get stronger by walking more.
    Hope you have a good walk tomorrow, and I hope you have a great weekend.

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  9. Brilliant post Ms Meanqueen! x

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  10. From Margie in Toronto - I suffer from fibromyalgia and RA but my rheumatologist is a firm believer in "Use it or Lose it"! I'm lucky to live in a very, very walkable city and to have 3 wonderful parks very close to where I live so I'm spoilt for choice. Even in the winter I don't have any excuse not to walk as my office is part of - what I believe - is the largest underground complex in the world - I have a 20 minute and a 30 minute route worked out for my lunch hour walks. I've never learned to drive so all errands, shopping etc. is a combination of transit & walking. I figure if a middle aged, overweight woman who walks with a cane can manage that 30 minutes a day, then anyone can.
    PS - to Fat Dormouse - do you have orthotic inserts for your shoes? They make a tremendous difference and may help with your foot pain.
    Love all your walking posts Ilona - wish I could manage those distances - my personal best is 20km in a day for a charity walk and I didn't have any problems afterwards with either my feet or knees so I did a good job training for it. Have a lovely day out.

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    1. I loved Toronto when I visited and very much enjoyed walking around the city. The weather was good so not much time spent in the underground complex but I imagine it's very cosy come the harsh winter!

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  11. I love to walk, always have though I have not always had time to walk as much as I would like due to work and family commitments! Now I have more time to fit in walking I go whenever I can and my two best pals love to walk as much as I do! I love your sunflower header photo, particularly as I am vegan and it's an international symbol of veganism! I don't give out praise lightly but I think you are great, a real inspiration how you plough your own furrow!

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  12. A daily walk with the doggies saves my sanity and keeps me moving every day, and costs me nothing.I've not joined any hiking-walking clubs as I enjoy the solitude during my outings right now, and am able to keep a moderate pace, though some days are a challenge due to reasons I won't get into here..so half an hour to one hour works for me.A group sounds like good fun and hope you have a great day.Regards,Destemona.

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  13. Just the kick up the bum I needed. Great post and thank you for the reminder about keeping good health, especially now as I am getting older :)

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  14. Now I have a bus pass, I save money, and now walk from the bus stop to the food shops, and with heavy bags of shopping too, which gives my body more work to do. And for leisure, sometimes gruelling walks across open moorland in search of standing stones and old holy wells. I have been out with a walking group, but too slow, too gentle! Like the new heading picture. Paul H

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  15. I am a postie and walk between 2.5 and 3.5 hours 5 times a week. Does that count?

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  16. Out with the dog at 7-15am this morning. 3 miles. Be out twice later for a few more miles. Keeps me fit at 67.

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  17. Great post! Walking doesn't cost a penny yet improves your health tenfold. Plus you get to see amazing places and meet lovely people.

    X x

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  18. I've bought some walking shoes and a rucksack earlier and went to the Dales, walked for about 5miles, stopped and sat on a stone wall while i drank my flask of tea. I set off again, walked another 5miles stopped and had a chocolate biscuit, then i ........

    Sorry, i'm rambling...!
    Dave.

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  19. Interesting post...after some back surgery a year or so ago, I questioned my neurologist about what type of exercise to do. He said "Just walk!" So every morning I take my dog, Polly (still a year old and in training), for a walk for 30 minutes. Thanks for the tips!

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  20. I walk every day with the dogs, and at the start of my walk I usually pass the spinning and Zumba classes, with the lycra and blaring music. I'm not knocking them and well done to them for keeping fit, but I'd rather be walking for free in beautiful countryside, watching the wildlife, getting plenty of sunshine and fresh air, and keeping myself trim at the same time. I think that the benefits of walking are underestimated. Perhaps it is seen as being too sedate but it definitely suits me as my main form of exercise.

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  21. Great post. I've had spinal fusion (a major operation) three June's ago. I managed to keep going right until the very last and I put that down to the fact that I walked a great deal. I have fibromyalgia now and find moving about very hard. On good days, I walk outside. If I can't do that I look at some of the walking clips on You Tune and join along. Even if I am having a bad day, I do exercises all day - stretches while waiting for the microwave to ping or neck exercises while the tv adverts are on. I also have bipolar disorder and am depressed for much of my time - walking outside is very good for this. I really think that exercise has helped very much. Natalie

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  22. Ilona, this is a great post! I am going to see if there is anything like it here in the states. I think joining the "Ramblers" is a great idea and all of the reasons for walking are valid.

    Gail

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  23. Great blog post! We're really glad to have you as a member and hope you enjoy walking with us! If you're on facebook you can let us know how you get on: https://www.facebook.com/ramblers. Happy walking :-)
    The Ramblers
    www.ramblers.org.uk

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