THERE’S a lot of information out there about exercise and health. We know that physical activity is good for our minds. Being active promotes mental health and well-being. It improves self perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Physically active people have up to a 30 per cent reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover. In older people, staying active can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
There’s so many trends and hot new ideas about how to exercise, when to exercise and what to be doing that sometimes we ignore the simplest option: walking. Walking is the simple answer to getting people more active. It is the most accessible physical activity, and already the most popular. It has the greatest potential to grow, particularly among people disproportionately affected by low physical activity levels and poor health.
Walking is a free, gentle, low-impact activity that requires no special training or equipment. Almost everyone can do it, anywhere and at any time. It is easy to start slowly and build up gradually, as well as being the ideal exercise to fit around everyday life.
It therefore addresses many of the reported barriers to being more active, such as lack of time, money, poor health and physical limitations. It is also accessible to people from groups who could most benefit from being more active — such as older people or those on low incomes. Walking is an effective form of exercise. as a form of moderate physical activity that contributes towards achieving the guidelines set by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers, walking offers all the benefits of physical activity to health and wellbeing, while remaining accessible to the majority of the population. In addition walking can simultaneously help in achieving many other worthwhile objectives besides health.
As a form of active travel, it is the most sustainable form of transport and has a key role to play in reducing congestion, pollution and climate change. More people walking would bring economic benefits to both urban and rural areas, can help increase social interaction, and reduce crime and fear of crime. And of course it’s a great way to fundraise for charity.
The Rotary Club of Calvia International are busy finalising their plans for the annual walk in aid of local charities – all focusing on young people on Saturday October 8. The 10km walk is from Katmandu in Magaluf to Mood Beach in Portals (and back!). A 2km will also take place. Marshalled and supervised, the main participants will be youngsters from the International schools who will shortly be receiving the details and sponsorship forms for those taking part. So be prepared to be asked for sponsorship money.
The major sponsors are Katmandu, Mood Beach and Minkners as well as the town hall of Calvia. But there are still opportunities for more sponsors. Just get in touch with the Rotary Club International Walk Coordinator, Geoff Moore, his e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.