The Easiest Way To Invest In Your Health

We all know we should get active but find out why walking works…

This week I attended a course to become a walk leader for the ‘ walking for health scheme’ supported my  Macmillian and Active Devon.  The below statistics are taken from the walking for health ‘walking works article which can be found here..
Inactivity accounts for 17% of early deaths i the UK.
Physical inactivity cause a huge number of common commons such as 

  • 10% of heart disease cases 
  • 13% of type 2 diabetes cases 
  •  18% of colon cancer cases 
  • 17% of breast cancer cases.

The recommendations suggest that we should do at least 150 minutes per week however we know you can get further benefits from up to a hour a day. As a physiotherapist I have seen first hand how specific, graded exercise benefits people with a wide range of conditions.

Simple strategies to improve health

I believes everyone should implement simple strategies and habits into their lives to reduce the personal cost through early death, amputation ( diabetes), pain ( for example in arthritis if people are obese), reduced quality of life due to health condition and low self esteem. Not to mention the  economic burden (an estimated £10 billion a year through sick days) and strain on our NHS.
As a physiotherapist I feels that I can help guide people on what sort of pain to push through, which is likely improve and when not to push and provide alternative exercises ( such as hydro) for people who need to build up strength without overloading the joints. 
Although many people think it will ‘never happen to them’ getting and staying active reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, colon and breast cancer and alzheimer’s.
In the ‘Walking Works’ report produced by walking for health it explains that 1 in 3 adults do not even do 30 minutes of physical activity per week! This is something we all have control over and we need to invest in our health.
I think everyone knows the benefit of staying active. On the course it was interesting to see how many people said they benefited from the social interaction and the mental health benefits of meeting new people, friends and feeling part of a community. So its just not our physical health that it helps. 
When you look at the stats and look at how physical active can reduce your risk its  wonder that more people aren’t active!

Table courtesy of walking for health report. Click here to see more)

Walking: A great way to Exercise

The course explain to us the fantastic benefits of exercise but I was shocked by how few people were

regular walking or doing some level of activity. The waking for health scheme allows people an accredited, safe environment that they can walk on short, graded walks and build up. If also offers  a fantastic introduction into the ramblers which provide longer walks.
Its a great way to exercise. Its completely free, you don’t need fancy clothes or to go to gym. You need a pair of study shoes but many of the walks are on paths so sometime you do not even require walking boots. Speak to your local leader to see which walks are planned. Walking is gentle and you can go at your own pace so you are unlikely to get injured. The groups are friendly and inclusive and its a fun way to go for walks with friends.

Before lunch we went for a short walk with our trainer. We walked out towards The Great Field, chatting as we went. After a tasty lunch we regrouped and finished off with a couple of sessions on scenarios and risk assessment information.

Are you doing enough for your health? 

Commitment to our health is so important and if you want to stay away from the doctors there are simple things you can do to minimise your risk of needing to see a doctor. 

Why not join a walking for health group? Click here to find a walk near you…
If you have concerns regarding a pain why not give us a call? Physiotherapist provide detailed assessments to help you strengthen muscle snd mobilise the joints to help reduce pain. Even with long term conditions such as arthritis pain this can be reduced through specific, targeted exercises. Come join us on one of the walks in Barnstaple. Grade 1 ( easiest walk) available on Tuesday. We meet at 10.15am for a 10.30a start- please check here for more info.
Speak soon.



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