Walk this May for health benefits!

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People in Wolverhamtpon are being encouraged to put their best foot forward this May. NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging local people to step into a healthier lifestyle by experiencing the health benefits of walking during National Walking Month.

Two and a half hours of moderate intensity activity a week, such as a brisk walk, will not only have health benefits but will also reduce stress and increase your general wellbeing. Physical activity can also help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against depression and anxiety.

Walking for just 20 minutes a day can burn up to 100 calories, and if you walked to work every day for a year you would save 17kg of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment - not only good for you but good for the planet.

Walking holds the key to a healthy heart but 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 one of the most rewarding forms of exercise and can have huge benefits for the heart.  It can also help reduce blood pressure, tone muscles, strengthen your bones and control your weight.

Older people who are vulnerable to a fall in the home often fall because they aren’t active for most of the time. Similarly, working age people spend a lot of time sitting down in the office. Therefore, we are nearly all guilty of being too sedentary.

Ramblers, which is a charity that promotes walking for pleasure, health and leisure, offers hundreds of walking routes each week on their website for free. You can search in or around your area by visiting http://www.ramblers.org.uk/wolverhampton and you can choose a route depending on how long, short or difficult you want your walk to be.

Dr Salma Reehana, local GP and Chair of NHS Wolverhampton CCG, said:

“Taking part in National Walking Month could give you the push you need to develop a healthier lifestyle. Regular walking improves heart health, reduces blood pressure and burns calories. Just a 20-minute walk can boost your mood if you are feeling low.

“Stamina and flexibility will improve, your mood will be brighter and you will sleep better. Getting out and about in your local community is also a really good way to reconnect with people.”

National Walking Month is promoted by Living Streets who encourage people to put more steps into their day and reclaim the streets by walking their short everyday journeys.

For more information on how to get involved in National Walking Month activities in your area, how to plan your own, and how to download the Public Health England ‘One You’ app to help you track your progress, visit http://bit.ly/2qs6bAc

Other local walking groups in Wolverhampton can be found at:

https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/west-midlands/wolverhampton-walking-for-healthhttp://win.wolverhampton.gov.uk/kb5/wolverhampton/directory/service.page?id=b3oyjHXtfVU

https://www.wulfrun-walkers.co.uk/

https://www.meetup.com/topics/walkers/gb/43/wolverhampton/