Health and Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing

Walking has been described as “near perfect exercise” with health benefits likened to a “miracle cure”, benefiting both physical and mental health:

Helping with weight loss

Around 60 million calories are burned each year by people doing the iWalk Cornwall walks who are doing it to have a nice day out, not to do “exercise”. That is the calorific equivalent of about eight tonnes of body fat or 25 tonnes of pasties!

As a very rough rule-of-thumb (exact figure depends on your weight, terrain etc), each mile walked on an undulating terrain burns around 120 calories.

A typical walking speed in the rural landscape is around 2 mph so that’s around 240 calories an hour on top of your body’s usual stuff to keep you alive.

Sat down, your body burns somewhere around 100 calories an hour (depending on how much thinking you are doing!) so the rate is roughly tripled whilst you are walking.

The really key thing is that walking is something you can keep up for a long period of time. You can find you've done a few hours whilst having a nice day out without even noticing.

“I may have told you how useful your walks have been to me but I will put it in writing for you. By cutting out bread and potatoes and walking every day I have lost 50kg (8 stone). My BMI is now 28 and I feel fitter now than I did 30 years ago.”

Building up physical fitness

All the iWalk Cornwall walks are graded by steepness and length. You can get started with an hour’s stroll and work up to more demanding walks of around 3-4 hours.

In the app, the steepness is colour-coded for quick reference. The app also includes a “shorter/easier” walks section where the walks are ranked with the easiest first to make it straightforward to get started and build up.

If you’re building up from an easy start, if you aim do at least one walk each week, you’ll find the slightly longer and steeper ones quite quickly become less challenging, and you’ll be breezing along on the “moderate” ones before long.

Mental health

Stress and depression are both well-known to affect concentration span, and going for a walk is an excellent tonic for both as it releases endorphins.

Since following maps and walking book directions requires concentration and getting lost can be stressful, the iWalk Cornwall app can be helpful here. It is a bit like a fairy godmother that watches over you as you walk and offers reminders when there is a direction to follow or if you go off route - removing all that stress.

If you have any problems getting going with the app, you can use the “contact us” to get in touch and we’ll do everything we can to help.

Walks with purpose

Whilst you're out walking, there are a number of ways you can make a positive difference to the environment to make the world a better place.

You can also help us with the iWalk Cornwall project itself by feeding back any changes to the footpaths that you spot affecting the directions. You can also contact us if you use our app regularly and would like to join our community of "regulars" who feed back info from walks to share tips with each other and help us keep them updated.