May is National Walking Month and the local NHS in Morecambe Bay is urging everyone to take advantage of the lighter evenings and get out walking.
Walking is a simple way of getting more physically active and is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is easy to build into your daily routine and doesn't require any special equipment.
Lauren Dixon, Barrow GP and GP Executive Lead for Children and Maternity at Morecambe Bay CCG regularly goes out walking with her family.
She said: “As well as many mental and physical health benefits, walking can help you feel part of your community and reduce loneliness and isolation. It’s a great way to get out and see some beautiful places, especially in Cumbria.
“For older people, walking more often is great for increasing general mobility and muscle strength in your lower body which reduces the risk of falls, even if it’s just a walk to your local shop.”
Regular walking is proven to reduce the risk of some chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, asthma, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer. It can also improve your mood and reduce your risk of depression.
To keep yourself fit you should walk at a pace that increases your breathing speed and heart rate. Taking a brisk walk for just 30 minutes a day on at least 5 days per week can help you feel fitter. You’ll also find that you’ll have more energy, feel less stressed, and it can also reduce your blood pressure, help you manage your weight and get a better night’s sleep.
For more information on the benefits of walking check out the NHS website at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/walking-for-health/