January 2023 is International Walk Your Dog Month, designed to encourage us to exercise not just our furry friends, but ourselves as well.
It’s not always easy to motivate ourselves to go outside in the cold, dark winter months, but after all the excesses of the festive season, many of us will be looking to shed a few surplus pounds. With most people feeling under financial pressure due to the cost of living crisis, signing up for an expensive gym membership may be out of the question, but a daily walk won’t cost you a penny.
Even if you don’t have a much-loved pooch to inspire you to get outdoors, starting the New Year off with a regular outdoor stroll can bring many benefits. These include:
• improved mental well-being – walking is known to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood
• weight control – it goes without saying that any form of exercise will burn calories which in turn helps control weight
• reduced risk of contracting some chronic illnesses – regular walking is proven to lower your risk of some chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, asthma, type 2 diabetes, as well as some cancers
• Helping you feel connected– walking can help reduce loneliness and isolation and make you feel part of your local community
• Improved sleep – even 30 minutes of exercise each day five days a week can help you sleep better
Frighteningly, physical inactivity is associated with one in six deaths in the UK, so January is the perfect month to improve your health by getting moving and starting walking, with or without a dog in tow.
Financial benefits of getting fitWhilst establishing a regular walking routine can improve your (and your dog’s) overall physical and mental wellbeing, did you know that it can also affect the amount you pay for protection policies such as income protection, critical illness and life insurance?
Being active and healthy can help reduce your premiums, as you’ll be considered at lower risk of becoming seriously ill. Some providers, such as Vitality, even reward customers who track their physical activity by incentivising them with a range of discounts and perks. These include gym membership, tracking device discounts, free coffees, and cinema tickets to name just a few.
If you are interested in taking out protection which offers additional benefits and rewards or are looking to review your existing protection options, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of L&C’s fee-free advisers. You can call 0800 073 1932 free from a mobile or landline seven days a week and get advice on some of the different ways you can protect you and your family.
For example, you might decide to opt for a combination of different policies, such as life insurance with critical illness and income protection, or you may want life insurance alone. Whatever your requirements, we’re here to help.