Healthy Tip: Heart Healthy Hikes

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The 29th May marks an important date on the mountaineering calendar – the anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay reaching the 29,000+ foot summit of Mount Everest in 1953 and becoming the first people to do so.

Not only did this British expedition inspire 1,000’s more to attempt to scale the world’s highest peak, but many more, much closer to home, to take to the countryside and explore the wilds on their doorstep at their own pace.  Snowdon was used by Edmund Hillary and his group during preparations for their successful ascent, so this weekend, why not strap on your hiking boots and take to the hills to get your heart pumping and lungs full of fresh, clean air.

The British expedition to scale Everest involved 350 porters, 20 Sherpas, tons of supplies, and took over two weeks to reach the summit from base camp.  We by no means recommend this level of preparation, but follow this week’s Healthy Tip and put your best foot forward.

•    Brisk walking and hiking are excellent ways of improving your cardiovascular fitness, especially if your route includes hillwalking.  This will force your heart to work harder than usual as you reach new heights
•    It’s important to keep hydrated and drink enough water and fluids, especially on a warm day.  Keep kids hydrated by filling their backpack with healthy hydrating drinks.  A small carton of no-added sugar fruit juice, up to 150ml, is a great start and also counts as one of their five a day.  Opt for water, either still or sparkling, or add fresh fruits, like lemon and lime, for a zesty gulp of goodness
•    At an average speed of 3.5 mph it takes only 17 minutes to walk a mile, so take a brisk walk to clock up a few extra miles than would be normal.  At around 6 calories per minute on flat ground, walking uphill can increase the calorie loss even more
•    Cover more ground and burn more calories by getting competitive with friends, family and colleagues by logging your steps, miles or walking routes over the week
•    Tapping into nature is good for your body and mind.   Spending time in green spaces can ease your stress levels  and anything that you can do to mitigate stress is beneficial to your wellbeing
•    If you’re feeling fit and up for a challenge, why not push yourself and take on a challenge of a life time - like the Great Wall of China Trek - and raise money we can put towards pioneering heart research.  A number of dates are still available later this year!

The great outdoors provides us with a ‘free gym’ to escape from the pressures of everyday life.  During the upcoming good weather, get out and start taking advantage of the natural landscape while you fit in at least 150 minutes of weekly activity