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Walking is the unsung exercise hero – whatever your age!

A simple stroll can fix all ills and The Hawthorns Northampton new Walking Guide will give you a leg up (or forward)!

Walking…

Walking has the power to be the answer to your many ills! It’s the simplest and cheapest of exercises and you can do it at ANY AGE!  A daily walk, even if it’s just a 15-minute stroll to the shops, can help to keep you alive (honestly!), and if you walk with friends, it can give your social life a boost, too. The Hawthorns Northampton (independent retirement living) has a new Walking Guide which welcomes everyone along, so you can simply pop in for a visit and join in with the stroll.

They believe retirement living should be all about staying fit, active and healthy in your later years, but they also believe it’s never too early to start! The Walking Guide allows you to track your progress through a weekly guide (because we all need a little help) – it’s recommended that 150 minutes of activity should be done every week – simply put, that’s a 10 minute stroll for 5 days a week. Whether this is before or after a meal or at the start or at the end of the day, it’s a pretty easy goal to achieve and tracking your progress will make you feel like you are accomplishing something; self-motivation right there! And did you know walking can cure hangovers and heartache? Sorted. With only 5 days a week required for the benefits, you can have the weekend off (you can stick to the classic paracetamol cure for any weekend hangovers). Not convinced? Check out these brilliant reasons to take up walking…

It’s my favourite exercise (and Muddy Paws)

Walking reduces stress and cheers you up!

Not only does a quick stroll sort out any hangovers or heartbreaks, they can fix low grade colds, boredom, loneliness, and that nagging sensation that you haven’t really achieved much that day. Even if you’re not feeling your best, the quickest of walks is an instant mood booster and it’ll help you feel great again. A good walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing, but it’s not just about the occasional one-off feel good factor. Being active has a whole range of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing. It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.

Regular walking lowers blood sugar, improves sleep and energises you

Being physically active reduces the risk of several major health conditions by between 20% and 60%, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves cholesterol levels, reduces blood pressure, builds healthy muscles and bones, improves balance and reduces the risk of falls. It’s not just the retired who suffer from these, so getting the family involved in the walking scheme will keep them all fit and healthy too. In older people, staying active can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

If you have problems with your health, or if you’ve had them in the past, it can be hard to stay active. But walking could make all the difference as it energises you and sets you up for a great sleep. It’s a low impact exercise, so it’s easy for you to get involved – even if you’re not feeling up to it. If your alarm goes off whilst you’re in a deep sleep, head out before you start your day (if you can fit a quickie in); a short walk will wake you up and get you feeling more active.

A gentle pace or brisk walking? You choose!

Even if you’re not ready to walk at a brisk pace, you can take your time and build up slowly. Walking at any pace will help you to manage your weight, reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of some cancers. Walking will improve the flexibility and strength of your joints, muscles and bones too. Any pace will have a real impact, even if you don’t think of walking as exercise, the impacts have fantastic benefits.

You don’t alway have to ‘head out’

There’s no worries of having to get ready to go to the gym or the need for any specialist equipment, just some good fitting shoes, comfy clothes and you’re ready to go. Best of all, with four of Hawthorns walks being inside, you don’t even need to worry about the weather! Without having to put on much activewear, it won’t feel like a chore and you can chat along the way and have fun. There’s no limit to how many times you can complete the Walking Guide, it’s all about staying fit and healthy, even with walks inside the complex! Hawthorns are also asking local students to join in for intergenerational walk; we can imagine they’ll hear lots of stories from the residents that will have them coming back for more!

Are you convinced? Go on, give walking a go. Walk to work (or get off the train/bus/car early and walk); walk to the school drop off; walk to appointments; walk with other people on Hawthorns Walking Guide, even walk to the pub! No excuses, just walk! 

The launch walk is Monday 25 at 10am to meet, with the walk starting at 10.30am with fruit juice and platter afterwards (nom). Everyone is welcome!

The Hawthorns

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