National Walking Month

National Walking Month

In a collaborative effort to promote the benefits of walking for both physical and mental health, The Menopause Consortium is supporting  Living Streets for National Walking Month this May. As a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, I am thrilled to shed light on the immense advantages that walking can bring to our musculoskeletal framework, alongside its broader benefits for heart health and mental well-being.

Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise, yet its impact on our musculoskeletal system cannot be overstated. Our joints, ligaments, and tendons thrive with regular walking. Unlike high-impact activities, walking provides a gentle yet effective workout, allowing our bodies to maintain flexibility and strength without subjecting them to excessive strain. This low-impact nature of walking makes it particularly beneficial for individuals of all ages and fitness levels, including those navigating through the changes associated with menopause.

One of the primary advantages of walking is its ability to support joint health. Contrary to the misconception that movement exacerbates joint pain, walking helps lubricate the joints, promoting better mobility and reducing stiffness. This National Walking Month, think about how by engaging in regular walking, individuals can alleviate symptoms associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis and improve their overall joint function.

Walking contributes to the strength and resilience of our ligaments and tendons. These connective tissues play a crucial role in stabilising our joints and supporting our movements. Through walking, we stimulate blood flow to these areas, facilitating the delivery of essential nutrients and promoting tissue repair. This National Walking Month, think about how over time, this can lead to improved flexibility, reduced risk of injury, and enhanced overall musculoskeletal health.

Beyond its physical benefits, walking is a powerful tool for promoting heart health and mental well-being. Engaging in regular walking can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, walking serves as a natural mood booster, thanks to the release of endorphins – the body’s feel-good hormones. This can lead to a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression, fostering a more positive outlook on life.

Importantly, walking offers a versatile and accessible form of exercise that can be incorporated into daily routines with ease. Unlike more strenuous activities, it requires minimal equipment and can be tailored to suit individual preferences and capabilities. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll through the neighbourhood or a brisk walk in the park, every step contributes to improved health and well-being.

As we celebrate National Walking Month this May, let us recognise the “Magic of Walking” in transforming our lives for the better. By supporting Living Streets, The Menopause Consortium aims to inspire individuals to embrace walking as a simple yet powerful way to enhance their musculoskeletal health, heart health, and overall quality of life. 

*Samuel Hobson is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist with a passion for promoting holistic health and wellness through physical activity.*