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EXERCISE FOR ALL
WALKS OF LIFE
Doctor Maria Finnegan, private GP at Spire Washington Hospital (and an
enthusiastic walker herself), is keen to highlight the benefits of walking as a
gentle and effective form of exercise for people of all ages.
Here, she explains the benets:
“What do you think of, when you think
of ‘exercise’? A jog around the park?
Sweating it out at the gym until you’re
red-faced and exhausted? How about
walking? How many of us think of the
humble walk as ‘exercise’?
“There are few patients who leave my
consulting room without me trying to
persuade them into becoming more
active. While any form of exercise is great,
for many people, walking can be the
perfect t. Let’s take a look at some of the
• It takes very little preparation - Unlike
other forms of exercise, with walking,
all you need is a pair of supportive
trainers and… That’s it! For most of
us, with planning, there is no reason
why shoes can’t be swiftly switched at
lunch-time to allow for a brisk 20 to 30
minute walk around the block before
getting back to work. This is
something I often do, and along with
the hidden health benets, such as
keeping my blood pressure and
cholesterol levels healthy, this allows
me to return to my afternoon clinic
feeling refreshed and raring to go.
• It’s easy to incorporate into your daily
life - Little changes such as getting o
the bus or train a few stops early and
walking the rest of the way, or taking
the stairs instead of the lift, can all add
up to big health benets, without
impacting on your day to day
ISSUE 04 : SUMMER 2018
• Its gentle on your joints - Regular
walkers get similar cardiovascular and
general health benets to runners, but
without any of the strains or sprains to
muscles and joints that runners are
• It protects your bones - Walking helps
to strengthen your bones, which
reduces the risk of Osteoporosis and
• The benets for our mental health
shouldn’t be underestimated either.
Walking has been shown to lower
stress levels and for me personally, I
nd listening to music as I walk a great
way to relax after a busy day.
• You’ll sleep better - All forms of
exercise help to promote better sleep
which in turn, has countless health
• Regular walking can help us to
maintain a healthy weight which in
turn can help us to maintain healthy
blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
All of these factors in turn, reduce the
risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes or
having a stroke or heart attack.
• It’s free - Need I say more?
So, if you’re one of the millions of
people who knows you should be more
active, but doesn’t quite know how or
where to start, please do consider
walking. With just 30 minutes of walking,
5 times a week, you’ll soon reap the
benets for both your body and mind.”