Did you know regular exercise helps maintain good physical and mental health? When you go for a walk it’s not just your body that benefits – the way you think and feel changes too!
When you exercise, chemicals called endorphins are released in the brain, which have a positive impact on your mood. Exercise also produces hormones that can improve sleep, help release muscle tension and reduce inflammation.
Active people develop a sense of achievement and purpose. Taking a walk gives you a chance to take time out, think and reflect. As confidence and self-esteem improve, you’re also more inclined to reach out and connect with others.
Regular activity with others builds a sense of belonging, and reduces feelings of loneliness. These things play a key role in preventing depression and reducing anxiety. In the Heart Foundation Walking 2016 evaluation report 59% of walkers said they liked the social aspects of belonging to a walking group. And the majority of walkers felt that it was important to their physical, social and/or mental wellbeing.
So how much activity do you need??
Do at least 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least three times a week. You don’t have to do it all at once though. Multiple shorter periods of 10 minutes throughout the day is still good for your physical and mental health.
Tell your family, friends and neighbours to join a walking group here! It is a terrific way to meet others and make a commitment to your mental and physical health.