A weekly column by Dr Miles Langdon of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues
Do you want to know the worst best kept secret to having a healthy heart. Yes, it may sound ridiculously obvious but physical activity could be the key to kick start a new and healthy lifestyle.
May is National Walking Month, there will be an abundance of podcasts, expert tips and inspiring stories all available to encourage people to get out and about this Spring. Whether you decide to walk the kids to school, walk to work or simply head a bit further whilst taking the dog out, it all counts towards a healthy heart and healthier lifestyle (and could save on fuel costs!).
Walking is underrated as a form of exercise but is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active.
A pair of comfortable trainers or walking boots is all you really need, as long as they provide support and don’t cause blisters, along with loose clothing that you can move freely in. Why not take a bottle of water for a brief, refreshing stop along way, which importantly, will also allow you to keep hydrated.
Walking should not be confused with putting one foot in front of another. Those who can walk should do it briskly so they feel out of breath. It is the simplest, cheapest and possibly one of the most rewarding forms of exercise that can have such huge benefits for the heart.
It can help to reduce blood pressure, tones muscles, strengthens your bones and can help to control your weight. You could really reduce your risk of developing heart disease – the UKs biggest killer which causes around 82,000 deaths in UK each year.
Older people who are vulnerable to a fall in the home often fall because they aren’t active for most of the time, working people spend a lot of time in the office - sitting down; so we are generally guilty of being more sedentary.
A hundred and 50 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, such as a brisk walk will reduce stress and increase your general wellbeing. Discover the benefits of walking at www.walk4life.info/