North Shore Times - Saturday 7 October, 2006

Walking beats the blues
Walking beats the blues

POUNDING the pavement will help tackle more than excess kilos during Walk to Work Day on Friday.

Depression support organisation beyondblue has encouraged the activity for its benefits in curbing depression.

``Research shows that regular physical activity leads to a 17 to 28 per cent reduced risk of developing depression,'' beyondblue chief executive Leonie Young said.

``Regular walking can lift your mood, prevent interrupted sleep, increase energy, decrease fatigue and lead to an improved sense of wellbeing.

``On average, depressed people exercise only about half as much as people who aren't depressed.''

The National Heart Foundation also endorsed walking as a beneficial exercise.

It recommends adults participate in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week, while children and teenagers need to participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity.

Even time-poor people can meet their requirements simply by moving, foundation activity manager Trevor Shilton said.

``Short walks such as walking to the bus stop or getting off one stop early are the perfect prescription to help more Australians get the recommended levels of daily physical activity needed for good health,'' he said.

Regular physical activity like walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type two diabetes, osteoporosis and colon cancers.

With soaring petrol prices, taking up walking regularly can also help your bank balance.

``Reducing driving from 30km to 20km per day can equal savings of hundreds of dollars per year,'' Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby said.

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North Shore Times