Each May, Living Streets coordinate National Walking Month, sending a message of encouragement to get out into the fresh air and “discover where walking can take you”. If you haven’t heard of the charity before, the folk at Living Streets work hard to promote the creation of safe, attractive and enjoyable streets for all. In joining forces with Walk England, together these two organisations are intent on getting us off the couch and into the great outdoors. Under the umbrella of National Walking Month, there are a range of activities and events to help motivate us on our way. Last week was Walk to Work Week and this week it’s the turn of the kids, with Walk to School Week running from the 19-23rd May.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, with fatigue and pain being major symptoms, the thought of physical activity may feel low on your priority list. However, according to the NHS experts: “an exercise programme specially suited to your condition can help manage your symptoms and improve your overall health.” Your GP or physiotherapist can help you to work out a personalized exercise regime: “which is likely to involve a mixture of aerobic and strengthening exercises”. And guess what? Walking is high up there on the list of aerobic exercises!
There are plenty of benefits to be reaped from walking and, according to the British Heart Foundation, walking can help to:
- Reduce blood pressure
- Tone Muscles
- Strengthen bones
- Help to control weight
- Boost energy levels
- Improve your mood
The beauty of walking is that not only is it free, but it can be done almost anywhere. Walking can neatly slot into your daily routine without too much disruption, and even a short daily walk can help to improve your general health. Here are just a few simple ideas to get you started:
- If you usually drive to the local shops, if they are within a manageable distance, consider walking instead
- If you catch the bus or train to work, think about getting off a stop early and walking the remainder of the way
- If you are feeling up to it, try taking the stairs instead of the lift
- Take a short stroll during your lunch break, it can be a great way to feel instantly refreshed
Feeling inspired by the idea of National Walking Month? Fibromyalgia patient Jo Nodell would certainly recommend it: in fact, you can read how she bravely managed to walk a half marathon here. Whilst you don’t need to go to go to Jo’s extremes, it’s certainly considering how a stroll in the fresh air might do you the world of good!
Do let us know how you get on!
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.