The importance of mobility and connecting with nature this summer
With lighter, warmer evenings it’s a great time to get outside and get active whilst connecting with nature, and walking is one of the best things you can do to stay mobile and to improve your overall health.
When we walk, we’re engaging the glutes, hamstrings, quads and even the core muscles. It improves our circulation, keeps our joints supple and helps with mental health to name but a few benefits of walking regularly. Keeping mobile is vital to our overall health since it’s linked with a decreased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and even some cancers.
When we combine walking with being outside in nature, the benefits further increase. Being in the fresh air, especially in green and blue spaces has an endless list of positive effects. Scientific studies have shown that ‘green exercise’ can improve self-esteem and mood, as well as reducing anxiety disorders and depression.
The challenge for this national walking awareness month, #WalkThisMay is to try walking for 20 minutes every day for the month of May. You’re sure to see the benefits after just a few days walking more, including more energy and focus, and less stress. But any form of exercise in nature is beneficial to our physical and mental health, and summer is the perfect time to get out there and try something new.
Here’s some of our favourite activities that get us out and enjoying nature during the summer months – all activities can be fully accessible regardless of your age, health and fitness level.
- Outdoor swimming
- Walking and hiking
- Surfing and bodyboarding
- Horse riding
Before you jump straight in, please plan accordingly for your body, activity and the weather conditions. Below are some basic guidelines for staying safe whilst exercising outside this summer:
- Avoid being outside during the hottest time of day
- Make sure to wear suncream on exposed skin, and cover as much of your body as possible
- Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes
- Stay hydrated – drink before, during and after your exercise
- Always stop what you’re doing if you feel faint or nauseous
- Recognise the symptoms of heat stroke.
If you’re worried about exercising or are unsure about what level of exercise your body needs, contact your osteopath. To book an appointment with ESO, click here. Specific stretches and exercise plans can be provided as part of your treatment plan with your ESO osteopath.