Heart Month September 2016 – is all about raising awareness for heart disease in South Africa. Statistics in South Africa show:
– 210 people die from heart disease every day
– 80% of these premature deaths can be prevented by eating better, moving more, and avoiding smoking
– Numerous studies have found that physical inactivity is attributable to a high number of cardiovascular events
– Physical activity has a host of benefits for cardiovascular health with proven benefits for blood pressure, health of blood vessels and inflammation
– Individuals that are more active or fit tend to develop less coronary heart disease than those who are more sedentary or less fit.
– Even moderate increases in exercise and fitness can have a significant effect, and this is true even of those in middle age who were previously sedentary
– Adults in good health who are the least fit have a 4.5 times higher mortality risk than the fittest.
– In fact, fitness is the most important predictor of death above other factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes
When many people think about becoming more active for their health, activities like running and cycling might come to mind. However, it isn’t necessarily the case that exercise needs to be vigorous to have potential benefits. Studies have shown that using the same energy for vigorous running and for moderate intensity walking has a similar effect on reduction of risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol. Walking as an activity has its own unique set of advantages as opposed to doing other activities, it is more social as it is easier to hold a conversation whilst walking, there is less impact on your joints than running and you really have the time to enjoy and take in your surroundings.
In light of Heart Awareness Month, here are walks in England that ANYONE can embark on to stay fit and healthy (in terms of difficulty), and perhaps come back feeling a little fitter as well as refreshed.
Cotswold Short Break – Two days of walking in the undulating terrain of The Cotswolds will get your lungs working but won’t be long enough to develop the aches associated with a longer walking holiday. Walking through this area gives you a chance to take in views over rolling hills and fields and to really absorb some of the charm of the villages.
Penzance to The Lizard Peninsula – This southernmost part of Britain is an area of astounding beauty. Offering everything from interesting wildlife to stunning scenery the varied landscape has something to offer around every corner. Romantic creeks, high cliffs and colourful wild flowers, framed against the Atlantic Ocean. 5 days of walking 4-6 hours per day and with modest gains in height mean the walk is not too demanding, but will certainly leave you feeling fitter by the end.
Considered one of the classic walks of Britain, this route traverses the North of England from the Irish Sea at St Bees to the North Sea at Robin Hoods Bay and takes walkers through some of the finest scenery in the country including the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire moors. Covering 190 miles, the distance covered is quite large and the terrain often rugged and varied, therefore this walk is certainly more of a physical challenge. However, you’ll soon forget about the tough climbs when rewarded with the beautiful and varied nature of the surroundings.
Sign up to receive the latest information on World Walks