Friday is Walking Day

Every Friday, a group of residents don their walking shoes and venture out from The Vale to stroll the streets and open spaces of Streatham. They may not venture far but the very act of walking and talking brings enormous health benefits and serves to strengthen their friendships.

We can all improve our physical and mental health with a short, regular walk and you may be surprised how much better you feel with just half an hour spent outdoors.

Sunlight is the best and most abundant way of absorbing Vitamin D which can help stave off a range of conditions such as heart disease, dementia, stroke, diabetes, autoimmune conditions and even some cancers. You can still take on Vitamin D from the sun, even on cloudy days. Natural light also helps to re-set our circadian rhythm or body clock, so can help us sleep better.

Walking is great for keeping the joints mobile and is weight bearing to help maintain bone density and thus keep osteoporosis at bay.

Upping the pace, even for a short distance, gives the heart and lungs a good work out, helping to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Being outdoors has been shown to reduce stress by taking us away from the many distractions that take up our time – TV, phone calls, computers, demands of other people. It is an opportunity for our brains to get a breather as well as our lungs.

Our bodies release endorphins during exercise so we feel better. Being with friends or in a green space amongst trees and plants increases this ‘feel good’ factor.

So, try to make time to get out there as often as possible, even for a short time. As our Vale walkers will testify, you will feel so much better for it. Your body and mind will thank you.

Around The Vale there are lovely open spaces to go for a walk such as Dulwich Park or The Rookery @ Streatham Common.