Why is exercise important and what is the link between physical exercise and emotional wellbeing?

Number one: it helps you to sleep better, fends off anxiety, boosts self-esteem and generally reduces levels of stress.”

Two: Exercise causes the release of hormones (chemicals produced naturally by your body) called endorphins which create a natural high that brings about changes in your body making you feel healthier.

Three: Exercise improves mood, reduces stress and anxiety, builds a better mood.

Some tips to get you started

Get yourself some comfortable walking shoes; there is nothing worse than uncomfortable walking shoes and blisters

Rucksack; for all your essentials such as water a map and chocolate!

Be prepared for the weather; pack a waterproof jacket and an umbrella

Buy an OS map our download maps onto your device and plan your walks; there are plenty of good walking books available and of course Alfred Wainwrights walks are a national staple if you really want to consider a walking holiday

Try to make walking a part of your daily routine if you can:

Walk to work if you live close enough

Walk to the shops

If you commute get off the bus or tube a few stops sooner and walk the rest of your journey to work

Make it fun by recording your daily steps on your phone or another device

Join a walking group or walk with a friend

Start to notice what is around you when you are walking; there are lots of interesting things out there that might grab your attention.  In urban areas the architecture is diverse and interesting and in rural areas there are the hedge rows and fields.  You will begin to notice things that you never knew were there before if you start to pay attention to your surroundings a bit more. This can be motivating and you may start to want to know more about architecture, insects, trees, birds etc..

Walking is free and once you have invested in a good pair of shoes etc the rest costs you nothing other than your time.

Go easy and don’t push yourself to walk miles and miles but gradually build up to doing more and more miles and on days when you feel like doing less miles – take a gentle stroll instead. After all there are no rules!