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Why you should 'get the steps in' | Find Your Stride

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

'Walking is great for your health', have you head that recently? It seems there's ever-growing pressure to keep active at the moment, everyone is increasingly enthusiastic about 'getting the daily steps in' and more people than ever are able to confirm their recent step count. Some people who don't necessarily want to record their steps each day are blissfully unaware that their smart phone is working away in the back ground, counting it for them anyway! So, what's all the fuss about? Read on to find out more about the benefits of walking.


What are the benefits?

Keeping active can help you to reduce stress levels, increase positivity, enhance focus (attention), and improve your memory. Furthermore, walking can also be social.. You can find walking groups quite easily or arrange leisurely walking activities to catch up with friends. Community and exercise are both key to physical and mental well-being.


It is also well known that regular exercise improves the function of your heart, lungs and digestive system. This means walking can help to level out blood sugars, which it turn can encourage better eating habits, which is so important for a healthy and active life. Another benefit of walking is it's ease, anyone can do it with a little perseverance and the gains will be obvious once you get started.

Walking to improve mental health

If you haven't tried it then take it from me, being in the outdoors will improve your mood, especially when walking in green spaces and woodlands when the sounds and smells make the experience more immersive. Observing nature, and taking your time doing it is thought to have a positive effect on the mood chemicals in your brain, reducing stress levels. You could:

  • Plan for a walk in a park or other public open space where there are different forms of nature, ponds, woodlands, and gardens.

  • Take some time to sit and watch the wildlife around you.

  • Set time aside each day to break from a busy routine and get out in nature

  • Walk your/or someone else's dog regularly


Walking to improve physical fitness

It is often forgotten that walking is exercise, therefore it will improve your cardiovascular health and assist with weight loss. You don't have to work up a sweat every time you walk to burn calories or get the heart pumping. Think about the tips below:

  • General health benefits - Try to walk 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, at a "talking" pace. "Talking" pace means you have elevated breathing, but you can still maintain a conversation

  • Cardiovascular health - To improve cardiovascular fitness, you should walk three to four days a week, for 20 to 30 minutes, at a very fast pace. At this pace, you are breathing hard but not gasping for air

  • Weight loss - If you are walking for weight loss you should walk a minimum of five days a week, for 45 to 60 minutes, at a brisk pace.

The NHS website has some really useful tips on walking for health ranging from reminders about comfortable trainers through to the benefits of listening to music while on your walk. They've also published some useful information on the amount of physical activity we all need at any given age, click here to have a look.


Summary

At Find Your Stride, keeping you active really is everything. We can help general foot care or advising on all things foot and ankle, but also through motivation and bringing resources to your attention that can guide and/or motivate you to keep up that walking. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you're having difficulty putting one foot in front of the other. Our Edinburgh podiatrists can help you find that optimal stride.


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