Walk away from the winter blues
According to the Ramblers Association, a lunchtime stroll could be the perfect way to combat the winter blues. In the RA’s National Walking Survey, 69 per cent of people said walking helped them with stress, depression, anxiety and problem-solving. ??
As the clocks go back and the nights draw in, the lunch break can be the only chance to get a mood-boosting dose of daylight. During the winter months, shorter days and dark evenings can lower the mood. Being outdoors in natural light is thought to be one of the most effective ways to help sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
One study showed a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as treatment with artificial light in helping to combat winter depression. ?
Research shows walking regularly for as little as 30 minutes a day can also help prevent heart disease and stroke, strengthen the bones and improve flexibility and co-ordination.
Ruth Wembridge, head of membership at the Ramblers’ Association, said: “In the winter months it’s so easy to stay in your warm office at lunchtime rather than going outside to get some fresh air. Yet exercise is vital for bolstering our immune systems and a daily dose of sunlight can be a real mood-booster. Walking is an ideal way to build exercise into your daily life and fight the winter blues. Even a brisk walk round the block or in a nearby park can make all the difference at this time of year.”