Our CRCC Heart Foundation walking group walks every Friday morning, coordinated by Jennie. Meet Jennie at the Bedford Park Community Garden (behind CRCC) where your walk will begin. Join us back at CRCC for a cuppa afterwards.
The CRCC Heart Foundation Walking Group aims to promote not only heart health but overall health and wellbeing of you and your community. For more information on the health benefits of walking and its positive impacts on your health visit the Heart Foundation on https://www.heartfoundation.org.au
When it’s cold, your body works harder to maintain your core temperature. You therefore expend more calories in this process. Extra ways of burning calories while walking in winter include: carrying a rucksack, walking on rough ground, using walking poles or wearing heavy boots.
2. Sleep better
Going for a brisk daily walk won’t just trim you down, it will also keep you up less often at night. Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin.
3. Cooler temperatures boost your brain
Colder temperatures can help people think more clearly . If you’re struggling to focus whilst working from home or are juggling childcare at the same time, you might benefit from making getting outdoors for a brisk walk an essential part of your day.
4. Fight infections
The human immune system can be activated when exposed to the cold  and this enhances your ability to fight infections. Practising sport, or walking, in winter can help to reduce your likelihood of contracting illnesses as a result of this.
5. Rejuvenate skin
Moderately cold temperatures (5-10 degrees Celsius) can be good for skin’s health because it constrains blood vessels in the skin. This makes the vessels less prone to redness and swelling, as a result of a reduction in blood flow. It can also tighten your cuticles and pores, preventing them from getting clogged.
6. Practising sport when it’s cold gives the heart a more intense workout
Experiencing cold weather whilst exercising causes the heart to pump more oxygenated blood around your body. This helps to ensure that the body maintains an appropriate warm temperature, avoids any risks from a drop in temperature and can also be caused in reaction to the increased physical activity itself. 
7. Assist in maintaining a healthy weight
Studies have shown that people who regularly walk briskly for half an hour, five days a week, were likely to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who are less active
8. Reduce stress
Being outdoors can increase the stress-busting effect, as well as benefiting from breathing in more oxygenated fresh air. Sunlight and increased blood flow in our brains can boost our production levels of chemicals like serotonin and endorphins, which can improve well-being and mood. Research has also shown that walking outdoors can have a ‘restorative’ property on our mental health, helping to create a break away from regular routine and lead our minds away from stressful situations
Walking doesn’t have to be a solo hobby. Going for a stroll with a friend, or in a group, can also be a social activity and an opportunity to catch up with peers, as well as a great form of exercise.
10. Range of other health benefits
The list is virtually endless when it comes to the benefits of walking, particularly during the darker and colder winter months where a focus on mental wellbeing in just as important as the physical benefits. Walking is a form of weight-bearing exercise (because you carry your own body weight) which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, improve high blood pressure, regulate cholesterol, improve balance, strengthen bones, increase muscle strength and endurance, reduce the risk of diabetes, improve cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness, and also help to manage joint and muscular pain.