Walking For Health – and Holidays!

August 18, 2010

As my regular readers know, I am all in favour of exercise provided it is enjoyable! So although you will never find me working out in a gym I do appreciate walking in a number of environments. The health benefits of walking are well-known and indeed I couldn’t put it better than this quote: “Walking is by far the best prescription for the 21st century”, says Professor Sir Muir Gray, Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS and Director of the National Campaign for Walking.

New statistics released by online service NHS MidLifeCheck reveal that 49 is the age when men are most likely to start taking stock of their diet and lifestyle and the results certainly indicate that as well is taking stock they need to take immediate action as these statistics show:..

• 63% of men are overweight with 21% considered to be obese.

• 31% did just 0-30 minutes of brisk physical activity in the previous week.

• 29% admit their emotional (mental) wellbeing is poor, with varying combinations of depression, high stress levels and pessimism.

• The average man is over 2 stone overweight and carries around a whopping 37-inch waist.

Just in case you’re feeling smug ladies it seems that we also need to be paying more attention to our health as a recent piece of research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that heart disease amongst women is also rising and walking is an excellent cardiovascular workout which in turn, burns fat.. Walking of course has far more benefits than just helping us lose weight and lower blood pressure because if performed in green, open spaces – rather than on a treadmill at the gym — it is clinically known to reduce stress, alleviate muscle tension and significantly improve mood and self-esteem.

If you want to combine those benefits with a holiday that takes place in a peaceful environment with stunning scenery then you might want to investigate Upland Escapes who offer several different locations (including France, Italy, Austria and Gran Canaria) to give the you exactly that. They are an award-winning company (Best in a Mountain Environment – Winner – Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2009) whose stated aim is to help you rejuvenate body and mind by offering walks to make your soul sing and who wouldn’t want that!

On an Upland Escapes walking holiday, there are no fixed itineraries and no timetables, so you can design your own day and go at the pace that suits you best. In each Upland destination there are a variety of activities on offer, such as horse-back riding, mountain biking and canoeing, which provide variety for those seeking more physical exercise and are ideal for families. Another bonus — at least for me — is the fact that they also provides nutritious and delicious deli-style packed lunches, full of healthy, organic local ingredients, chosen to compliment the season, so that your goal to eat more healthily can be worked towards, even on holiday.

If you can’t spare a week – or don’t fancy putting yourself at the mercy of the airlines — then they also offer one day walking experiences in England. For more information visit www.uplandescapes.com or call 01367 851 111


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