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Welcome to the Health Defence Blog - a blog about health, wellness and a healthier you. Brought to you by the Health Defence team at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, you'll find up-to-date information on a range of topics from what's in your food to the latest advice on e-cigarettes!

Lynn Reid

Guest blogger: Lynn Reid

May 22, 2016

Our guest blogger this week is Lynn Reid. Here, Lynn (a keen walker) gives you her tips for walking. Read on to find out how long you need to walk to burn off a chocolate bar…!

Walking for just 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace can increase your life span by 2-3 years and reduce your likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But you know all that… right! We have heard this so many times, so why do many people still sit for 8 hours or more a day?

Sedentary lifestyles have become the norm for many of us due to long commutes to and from work, sitting in an office at a computer all day and so on.  Now that everything is more convenient, it is easier to become less active!

Briskly walking for 30 minutes a day can…

  • Increase bone and muscle strength, reducing the chance of a bone fracture
  • Improve blood cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improve blood sugar levels, to reduce your risk of diabetes (or help to manage diabetes)
  • Improve mood
  • Improve sleep
  • Lower blood pressure, reducing your risk of stroke
  • Aid weight loss

Tip: ‘brisk’ walking means being slightly breathless, but still able to hold a conversation with a friend!

Still need convincing?

A woman walking for 30 minutes at a brisk pace burns approximately 200 calories.

200 calories = one small bag of crisps or a small (58g) chocolate bar.

Walk for an hour and you can double that… (not that we are suggesting you should walk so you can eat more chocolate, of course!)

Incorporate walking into your day by: parking your car further away from work; getting off the bus a stop earlier; walking at lunchtime instead of sitting; have a ‘walking’ business meeting… even taking the stairs, or pacing while you wait for the kettle to boil counts!

Tips for safe walking

  • Wear good comfy shoes and socks
  • Take care on uneven surfaces
  • Do not walk in dark or isolated places on your own
  • Join a walking club if you feel more confident walking with others

Tip: it can help to increase your walking by setting yourself a goal, for example, walking 10,000 steps per day.

Find more tips for increasing the amount you exercise in the CHSS ‘Just Move‘ factsheet.

Useful Links:

Walking For Health

Take 30

Paths For All – Health Walks

***Disclaimer: always seek medical advice before starting a new diet, exercise regime or medication. The information in these articles is not a substitute for professional advice from a GP, registered dietitian or other health practitioner.

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