The benefits of walking: Why you should slip on some trainers (or wellies) at your next conference
No matter what the British weather throws at us, there really is no better way to get those endorphins flowing than filling your lungs with fresh air, strolling in the great outdoors. Wendy Martinson OBE, Group Nutritionist at De Vere, discusses the benefits of getting active during your next conference.
Boost mental wellbeing
Research suggests that 1 in 6 people in the UK suffer from a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. This rather harsh fact of modern day living highlights the importance of knowing how to care for your mental wellbeing.
Outdoor exercise, with exposure to nature, has been proven to have many positive influences on mental wellbeing and can reduce stress levels through the increased release of endorphins, which enhance self-esteem and naturally lift your mood. In fact, as little as 20-minutes of walking can have beneficial effects on mental health.
But it’s not just about feeling mentally good, the physical brain benefits from exercise too. According to a study, by the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, appears to boost the size of the brain area (Hippocampus) involved in verbal memory and learning, improving cognitive function.
Improve your physical health
While increased levels of exercise is known to be linked to weight loss and fitness, regularly walking briskly for 30-60 min most days can also improve blood pressure, reduce your risk of having a stroke and suffering from diabetes; and with the stunning, countryside settings of our De Vere properties, there is no excuse for missing out on your dose of walking. In fact, the properties – most of which are set in 20 acres of natural parkland or more – have set walking routes, guiding you through the best parts of the countryside, meaning that every walk will be enjoyable with something new to explore. By using this level of activity as a weekly minimum target – and keeping it up, even on a conference – you will strengthen your overall cardiovascular health and functional capacity.
Walking also helps to strengthen and maintain bone and joint health and indeed Hippocrates himself (c. 460 – c. 370 BC) said that ‘walking is man’s best medicine’. Recent studies continue to support this theory which suggests that walking for 30-45 minutes, five days per week, can reduce susceptibility to illness and, as a result, decrease the number of sick days taken by 25-50% when compared to an inactive lifestyle.
We have some of the most beautiful walking routes attached to our country estate hotels, including protected, serene lakes in the Cotswolds and 200-acres of natural parkland, complete with secret gardens in the South of England. Our hotels also have complimentary Hunter wellies available to borrow, meaning all guests can slip on a pair of designer wellington boots for the duration of their stay, free of charge – so there’s no excuse for staying inside even if the weather takes a soggy turn and you’ve only got your work shoes with you.
With superfast Wi-Fi available up to 100 metres from the hotel, delegates can take a stroll in the summer sun to re-energise during a break in a conference or meeting with some fresh air while absorbing that all important vitamin D.
With so much beauty to explore and the health benefits it provides, don’t miss out of the great British countryside this summer – get those wellies on and start walking – who knows where the adventure will take you.