The benefits of taking an outdoor winter walk are enormous, both mentally and physically! Fresh air, sunshine and movement are all beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.
Myles and I love going out walking in the crisp, cold air this time of year! Not only does it make us feel good, but it keeps us fit and gives us something nice to do rather than wasting our Sunday’s slobbing about the house. Here are a few reasons why you should get out in the winter sun this season…
Great For Fitness and Weight Loss
Did you know that walking in colder temperatures will help you to burn more calories because your body will work harder to stay warm? In fact it’s better than going to the gym! Researchers from the London School of Economics, claim that regular brisk walking is the best exercise for maintaining a healthy weight.
After analysing data from the annual Health Survey for England, the researchers found that adults who regularly walk briskly for more than 30 minutes tend to have a lower body mass index and smaller waist than those who take part in sports or exercise at the gym. They also discovered that a long, brisk walk is just as good as going for a run when it comes to lowering risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. So scrap that gym membership and get your walking boots out!
It Makes You Feel Better
Once you get moving, endorphins will release around your body, giving you a euphoric feeling. Definitely something that we need this time of year to combat the lack of day time we experience! The more you walk, the more your blood will pump through your body, this will not only help to make you feel better, but look better too.
Getting out and about on foot is such an effective intervention for depression. We had such great fun on our walking this morning kicking leaves about and looking out for local wildlife. Even if you walk alone, it’s great to take in your scenery and see things you wouldn’t usually see.
A report from mental health charity: Mind, states that country walks in particular have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and raise self-esteem.
We’re lucky enough to live right near the National Trust’s Calke Abbey, we got membership just so we could come walking all the time. But even if you don’t live in the countryside or near a park, you can always walk to work or walk to your family or friends house.
It Makes You Stronger
Not only will the physical exercise improve your leg power, but it’s also good for your joints. If you suffer from joint problems, regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do (but only as much as the condition will allow, obviously). Walking is ideal as it’s low-impact but still helps to keep your weight in check and prevent stiffness and swelling.
Not only that, but getting just 15 minutes of sun on your face two to three times per week should be enough for your vitamin D production. Sun exposure triggers vitamin D production in the skin, and bones need vitamin D to make the body absorb bone-strengthening calcium properly, making your bones stronger too!
Here’s a few more photos from our walk around Calke Abbey today, how cute are the scarecrows in the gardens here?!
Obviously, there’s so many benefits to walking, it’s a lovely way to spend a day, even a few hours! We love to go here, there and everywhere exploring, seeing new things, wrapping up warm and treating ourselves to a hot chocolate afterwards. Plus it always gives me chance to work on my photography skills for my blog! And it’s free!
Where’s your favourite place to go walking?
Thanks for reading,
Love Charlie x