FEELING GREAT: Five reasons why autumn walks are good for you

An autumn walk can have many health benefits.
An autumn walk can have many health benefits.

Lets talk about autumn, and the number one thing that most people stop doing when this time of year comes round – which is getting outdoors.

While summer may strike you as the best time to be outside as much as possible, autumn is also the perfect time to enjoy the fresh air (in fact, it comes with a whole lot of health benefits too!).

Bright blue and sunny skies; crisp, frosty ground; trees painted in bright reds, oranges and yellows; and hills covered in velvety pink and purple heather – how could you not be drawn into spending more time outside, making the most of the tranquil scenery?

While most of us put our walking boots to the back of the cupboard the minute that summer starts to fade, what if I told you that taking a gentle stroll in the autumn has a great impact on your health, and can even lift your mood and fend off the ‘winter blues’, despite the dark nights drawing in?

Just take a look at some of these autumn walking plus-points: Gorgeous views amid colourful autumn scenery, huge panoramas under bright blue skies, breath-taking sea views, seasonal wildlife, less crowded walking routes, stunning misty mornings and golden sunsets, kicking up the leaves and hot chocolates in country pubs after a day’s exploring.

More tempted now? There are many reasons why I’m so fond of walking, you don’t have to move at a fast pace like running, and it’s very unlikely to cause any injuries that put you out from doing what you love. Everyone can walk!

Also, you don’t need any equipment (like you do with most sports), and it’s the foundation for good health.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at some of the ways walking enhances our life…

1. It blows your stress away: What do I do when I need to get away from a stressful day? I go for a walk! Preferably surrounded by nature.

For me it’s the beach, or the hills. For others, it might be the woods or even a park.

Going for a walk anywhere in a natural setting is going to reduce your stress levels.

2. It lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s: Believe it or not, walking can actually be good for your mind and overall mental health.

According to a study by the foundation, people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s who walked more than a quarter of a mile a day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

3. It tones you up: It might seem pretty obvious that exercise can help you build, and tone your muscles, but this especially holds true when it comes to walking.

Walking helps tone up legs, bums and tums – just be sure to be aware of your posture that you’re not slouching over, and your head is held up high.

4. It keeps you moving no matter what your age: Walking (no matter what age you are) can help you stay mobile and independent even in your 70’s and beyond!

It keeps your joints moving so they don’t seize up, and your body strong – reducing the likelihood that you’ll be affected later on in life with something like knee and hip pain.

5. It burns calories: And way more than you think! Brisk walking raises your heart rate, helps you get fitter, and keeps you from feeling tired less quickly.

If you walk briskly for just 30 minutes, you can burn up to 150 calories – which is equal to the number you’d burn playing doubles tennis for the same length of time.

And it’s more than half the number of calories in the average chocolate bar!

Although the exact number you burn depends on your body weight, age and fitness, there’s no denying that walking more is a good thing.

So there you have it, five reasons why you should keep active this autumn and explore more, simply by walking.