Congratulations! Well done from all of us at Spire Leicester Hospital for unlocking our out of this world rocket ‘Evening Tide’, designed by artist Jenny Leonard.
Here at Spire Leicester we are big fans of walking, as we know just how good it is for you. Regular exercise is great for both your physical and mental health. It has proven benefits for everyone, whatever your age, sex or ability; lifting your mood as well as keeping you fit and feeling more energetic – what more could you want?
Our doctors recommend that where possible, people participate in 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, which could be activities like cycling, swimming - or of course, walking!
Like any exercise, it’s important to work at an appropriate level. If you're generally fit and healthy, we suggest starting out with a brisk 20 minute walk and building up from there. However, if you have not exercised for a while or have any long-term health problems, check with your doctor before you start any new activity, just to make sure you’re safe and you don’t take on too much too soon.
While we're talking about doing things safely, make sure that you develop good habits with your exercise. Are you prone to skipping your warm up or cool down? Don’t! Warming up increases your heart rate and therefore your blood flow, which enables more oxygen to reach your muscles. Cooling down - simply by the reducing the intensity of the activity you have been doing – will help you gradually reduce your heart rate and begin the process of recovery. Gently stretching each of the main muscle groups for 10–15 seconds will restore their length, help prevent cramp and can help bring your mind and body back to a resting state.
It’s equally important to build in rest days with less activity which allow your body time to recover – plan to have two rest days a week and if you are older, increase that to three.
So what are the benefits of walking?
Regularly walking is hugely beneficial to both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Walking, like all exercise, is a great way to boost your mood, even if it’s just a short brisk walk. The movement of walking stimulates the production of chemicals in your brain called endorphins, or as they are sometimes nicknamed – happy hormones. The release of endorphins can help you feel calmer and enhance your sense of wellbeing. Walking is also a good way to take your mind off worries, helping you get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that can feed depression and anxiety.
Getting out regularly for a walk is great for your heart and can help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. Staying active boosts levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body and decreases levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), helping lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
When you’re walking, your heart is also pumping your blood more efficiently around your body, This means that you are getting better circulation to all of your organs - especially your lungs and brain. Good circulation to the lungs means that more oxygen can be delivered to your blood and carried around the rest of your body, and more blood flow to the brain helps keeps you alert.
Exercise can, quite literally, have a big impact on your joints. High impact sports like rugby or activities like running put strain on your joints which over time may cause damage. Walking however, is a low impact activity, which still provides a great cardiovascular workout whilst minimising the strain felt by your joints. Additionally, as walking is a cardiovascular activity it’s a great tool for helping to maintain a healthy weight!
As long-term supporters of LOROS, we're thrilled to be involved in Rocket Round Leicester, knowing that the auction of our stellar rocket will help raise vital funds to help LOROS continue to provide specialised care to adults in our community with a terminal illness where a cure is no longer possible.