The Health Benefits of Walking Holidays

So many of us love pulling on our hiking boots, getting outside and going on a good walk. There is something really special about being out in nature, taking in the sights and smells and getting some fresh air. However alongside the enjoyment we get from walking, did you know that there are actually lots of important health benefits too?

Many people don’t realise that walking is in fact a great form of exercise, burning 65-100 calories per mile depending on our weight and walking speed. It is a form of aerobic exercise that helps to reduce body fat, tone and firm. It is also fantastic for our heart, ups our energy levels and has been shown to help boost our much needed vitamin D supplies simply because we are outside in the natural light. Often though one of the greatest benefits of walking is not discussed, that is the fantastic effect it can have on our mental health. Simply being outside and getting our blood pumping triggers our release of endorphins which are our ‘feel good’ hormones and add to our greater sense of calm and well-being.

Recent news articles have claimed that walking for 25 minutes a day could even stave off dementia. Taking a short walk three times a week could increase the size of brain regions linked to planning and memory over the course of a year. Regular brisk walks can also slow down the shrinking of the brain and the faltering mental skills that old age so often brings. Have you ever heard of active relaxation? The term does sound like a contradiction in itself but many people are now recognising the benefits of relaxing our minds and bodies actively. Through choosing an activity that is not too strenuous we get our hearts pumping, our minds active and most importantly we get away from screen time and information overload. These activities can lead to a deeper sense of well-being, calm and good health and walking is the perfect example of active relaxation.

We love to hear about the positive and healthy benefits of walking and believe that there isn’t much better than a walking holiday, whether you fancy strolling with your partner, getting away with a good group of friends/family, or even some time out just for you. So dig those walking socks out, pack a rain mac (we do live in England!) and get out walking in the great outdoors. With so many beautiful walks around the Cotswolds and plenty of pub stops for lunches, we can’t think of a reason not to. Happy walking folks!

NewsKatharine Mabbett