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Sep 27, 2022

Spring has sprung, and now that it’s getting warmer here’s a look at how a few minutes of gentle walking a day can deliver major benefits to your health and wellbeing, from keeping your heart healthy to managing anxiety and depression.

A walk a day keeps the doctor away

Walking is by far the most accessible form of exercise available to us. Not only is it completely free, but you can do it almost anywhere, you don’t need any special clothing or equipment, and you can walk at any time of day that suits you.

No matter where you are in your health and fitness journey, incorporating a 30 to 45-minute walk into your daily routine can improve your health just as effectively as running or cycling can. 

Here’s why you should start stepping:

Walking reduces your risk of major health problems. Studies show that a gentle daily walk can reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and heart disease in both men and women.

Walking reduces your risk of death. Past studies have shown that walking daily not only reduces the days spent in hospital yearly in both men and women, but can also reduce your overall risk of death by up to 39%.

Walking boosts immune function. In a study of 1000 adults during flu season, those who walked 30-45 minutes a day took 43% less sick days, and had milder symptoms if they did get sick. 

Walking boosts your brain. One study showed that walking increased creativity by an average of 60%. Walking also improves cognitive function, helping you focus for longer periods of time and alleviating brain fog.

Walking significantly improves mental health. It has been proven that walking reduces anxiety and depression, lowers stress, improves self-confidence, and boosts quality of life in people with mental health disorders. The endorphins released when you exercise help boost and stabilise your mood, leaving you feeling happier.

Walking boosts energy levels. Walking boosts oxygen circulation inside your body, helping your cells produce more energy, and allowing your body to function more efficiently. This reduces fatigue and improves energy levels throughout the day.

Walking improves your sleep. Studies show that exercise not only helps you fall asleep faster, but also improves the quality of your sleep, so that you wake up more refreshed. Studies show that 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity should deliver improved quality sleep the very same night.

Bestmed’s Tempo wellness programme

As a Bestmed member, you and your family have access to the Bestmed Tempo wellness programme at no additional cost. Tempo benefits include custom fitness programmes for beneficiaries of 16 years and older. If you’re looking for a good way to get started, unlock your Tempo benefits by completing your Health Assessment (HA) at any one of our nationwide pharmacy clinics. Email tempo@bestmed.co.za for more information.


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