Most of us know we need to excercise more, but with increasingly busy lives, itâ€™s important to prioritise the activity that will give us the greatest health benefit.
Most of us know we need to excercise more, but with increasingly busy lives, itâ€™s important to prioritise the activity that will give us the greatest health benefit. After a long day sitting at a desk inside a stuffy office, working out in a gym couldnâ€™t be less appealing.
1) Live longer!
Research has shown that just walking 5 miles a week at a slow pace is enough to reduce your risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure by 31%. 5 miles is just 10,000 steps â€“ so if youâ€™re addicted to your Fitbit and find yourself pacing around at night to reach 10,000 steps, then well done â€“ you are absolutely smashing that target!
2) Boost your mind
Doctors are increasingly prescribing exercise such as walking to combat depression and many clinical studies have showed that exercise can improve depressive symptoms to a comparable extent to the use of anti-depressant drugs.
3) Strengthen your heart
Walking becomes a cardio work out when you push yourself to the point that conversation becomes more difficult. On the Tour du Mont Blanc trek and Haute Route trek, some days involve ascents of 1000m and you will certainly feel out of breath on those! Cardio exercise is important for strengthening your heart, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
4) Increase your metabolism
Just spending 20 minutes in any fixed position leads to a decrease in our metabolism and 4 hours of inactivity almost completely shuts down enzymes that metabolise fats! When youâ€™re at work, itâ€™s important to take regular screen breaks to combat this. Trekking can also improve your metabolism by building muscle mass in your legs. The more muscle mass you have, the greater your resting metabolic rate â€“ for every 4.5lbs of muscle mass your resting metabolic rate increase by 50Kcal per day.
5) Burn calories!
For many people this is one of the most important health benefits of trekking! When you consider that taking your dog for a half an hour walk burns 100 calories, itâ€™s easy to see the weight loss potential of trekking! On the Tour du Mont Blanc and Haute route trek, we typically walk for 6-8 hours per day, over very hilly terrain! That means that we are almost burning our entire daily allowance of calories, which is a good thing considering how delicious swiss food is!
6) Heal chronic back pain
Itâ€™s a scary fact that the average American sits for 13 hours and sleeps for 8 hours a day, meaning they are active for just 3 hours. The sitting epidemic is one of the reasons why so many of us suffer with chronic back and joint pain daily.
7) Increase focus and productivity
Itâ€™s shown that ten minutes of movement increases productivity and mental focus at work, so get outside and take a walk on your lunch break! By incorporating a trek into your weekend activities, you will further increase focus by reducing stress and increasing your physical fitness. And as we all know, the best ideas always come to us when weâ€™re away from the desk!