Generally, people believe that exercise must be strenuous to have any form of benefit on their physical condition. However, that is not the case. A lot of people pick up running to kickstart their cardiovascular strength, however walking is a great place to start, and it offers a softer approach, with less strain on your muscles and joints.
What are the benefits of walking?
- Burn calories
Depending on the length or pace of your walk, the calories burnt can vary. Sources say that an hour walk can burn between 210 and 360 calories. A tip: don’t push yourself, enjoy it. Allowing yourself to enjoy exercise will give you the itch to get up and get walking the next day! The best exercise is the one you’ll do regularly.
- Eases joint pain
Getting in your steps can help protect your joints within your knees and hips. It helps to build synovial fluid (lubricant) around the joints and strengthens the soft tissue, supporting the joints. When a joint moves, the synovial fluid moves around giving the relevant cartilage the oxygen it needs. The production of synovial fluid caused by exercise keeps your joints ‘well-oiled’.
- Tone your legs
Persistently walking and exercising will begin to strengthen and tone your muscles. Whilst walking on the flat is still great, add in some hills or up the pace to add a little bit of burn to your daily walk. Who doesn’t want toned legs?
- Prevention of diseases
Increasing your cardiovascular health will reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. Improving the performance of your heart and lungs increases the ability for your body to circulate blood. Being physically active dramatically reduces the risk of severe health conditions by 20-60%. (1)
Besides from your physical health, walking and other exercises can significantly improve and boost your mental health. Various studies show that it can help reduce anxiety, depression and uplift your mood from a negative to positive one. What’s so lovely about walking is that you don’t have to do it alone. Walking can be enjoyed with friends or family, enabling you to socialise and check-in on your nearest and dearest. It also allows for a world of discovery, stumbling across new locations and hidden gems which can ignite a fire within you to continue discovering new places/recommended walks across your area, home country or further afield.
At Trelonk, we often speak about alpha-pinene, and the benefit conifer trees have on our health. Over recent years, forest bathing/walking has become a trend. Walking in a forest or a woodland trail allows you to inhale various terpenes (aroma compounds) which plants and trees emit. One of these being alpha-pinene, found in most pine trees.
Have you ever walked through nature and felt uplifted and revitalised? This is because of the numerous terpenes which have health benefits reacting with your olfactory system (nose).
Enjoy the exercise you do and you’ll begin to see the benefits you’re aiming to achieve!