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.
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.