You know how much we both love, and recommend regular walking as a midlife wellness activity. You can be guaranteed a good stomp when you join us on one of our wellness retreats. When we spend time together, we'll often go on a long hike, and the outdoors becomes our office for the day!

The benefits of getting your steps in are numerous, and there is a growing body of research that supports our beliefs that walking supports health and wellbeing. Walking is free, accessible to most of us, and one of the easiest ways to get more active. Expect the following benefits if you take up walking as a regular activity:

* Improved cardiovascular (heart) health
* Improved balance and coordination, and stronger legs
* Better mental health
* Lower body fat
* Reduced raised blood pressure
* Stronger bones
* Better sleep quality

But how long should we be walking? At what point do we start to see benefit? Most of us think 10,000 steps is what we should be aiming for. However, new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology challenged the recommendation to walk 10,000 steps a day. This study is the largest to date, to measure the positive impact of daily walking and step-counting and includes data from about 230,000 individuals from around the world. Whilst the general consensus is that increasing your daily step count leads to better health outcomes, the study showed that taking as few as 4,000 steps per day can decrease the risk of death from all causes. What is even better news is that the research showed that a mere 2,300 steps per day also lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study also included data on people who walk up to 20,000 steps per day and found they experienced the greatest health benefits. So in the case of walking, it seems that, the more the better when it comes to reducing risk of disease (so we'll be carrying on with our long hikes!). Having said that, there really isn't a magic number of steps that have been found to best support your health and longevity. It appears that even a relatively short walk can be of benefit. Rather than aiming for a specific number of steps, why not just see where your walk takes you, enjoy the time to think, time to breathe a little deeper, and time to be in the fresh air.

Happy walking!