National heart month: how cycling and walking can help you

February is National Heart Month. There are lots of ways you can improve your heart’s health, including changing your diet, and getting more exercise. Even small changes can make a big difference:

  • Just 15 minutes exercise a day could increase your lifespan. Scientistsfrom the European Society of Cardiology studied participants over 12 years,  and found that those who exercised at a low level (the equivalent of a 15-minute brisk walk) were 22% less likely to die than those who didn’t exercise at all.
  • Cycling can help you lose weight. The average person burns between 450 to 750 calories an hour Try a long ride, which can burn a lot of fat, once a week, perhaps on the weekend. Or high intensity fast rides, of just 15 minutes fast cycling, if you are short on time.
  • Physical activity improves mental health. study by the YMCAshowed that people who had a physically active lifestyle had a wellbeing score 32% higher than inactive people. Exercise releases adrenalin and endorphins, and can improve confidence.
  • Walking has many health benefits. It improves circulation, helps to ward off heart disease, lowers blood pressure, can help you sleep, and lose weight.

If you’re looking to make a change, or you know someone who is, why not think about walking and cycling more, whether to and from work, for leisure, or to get to a local shop?