Did you know that walking regularly can reduce your risk of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis and others? One of the best motivators for regular walking is to walk with a group! Joining a walking group is a beneficial, low-risk and effective way to improve your health. Additionally, groups help people feel less lonely, reduce drop-out rates and motivate people to take on other healthy activities.
In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers at the University of East Anglia (Norwich) examined the results of 42 walking group studies involving 1,843 participants in 14 countries. The study participants, among them people with obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's, as well as healthy individuals, completed a total of 74,000 walking hours in groups. Participants’ blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, weight and cholesterol levels all fell significantly. Furthermore, the participants experienced improvements in lung capacity, physical functioning and general fitness, and they were less depressed.
Group walking is a great option for getting outside for leisure or as a health intervention and is a cost-effective way to be more active. Additionally, walking in groups encourages positive attitudes towards physical activity, companionship and a shared experience of wellness.
Visit MeetUp.com to find a walking group near you or consider starting a group of your own!