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No one is going to read the title of this blog and disagree with the sentiment, but I was reading an article in “Private Eye” this week which really brought this home to me.

“Private Eye” is a satirical magazine that comes out every fortnight.  I have been subscribing for years and every edition has any number of cartoons or articles that make me laugh out loud and reading the magazine always brightens my day.

However, it does have a serious side too and the articles that their resident doctor, “MD” has been writing over the past year or so about Coronavirus have been quite outstanding and certainly the most informative and unbiased information that I have seen since the outset of the pandemic.

Below is an extract from MD’s article in the most recent edition of PE:

“There is no drug yet invented which matches the physical and mental health benefits of walking outdoors.  It reduces anxiety, lifts mood, helps you sleep better and improve cardio-respiratory, metabolic and musculo-skeletal health.  Those who can’t walk (or wheel), or who suffer post-exertional malaise when they overdo it have a good excuse.  For the vast majority, the amount of physical activity done over a lifetime increases both length and quality of life and reduces the risk of all manner of disease.  The best way to avoid Covid is not to catch the virus.  But if you do, the fitter you are, the far more likely you are to recover.

In 2005 researchers studied 1,705 Australian men over 70 and measured how fast each man walked.  Five years later, 266 men had died, but no one who could walk faster than 1.36 metres per second at the outset (or 5km/h) had died.  As the researchers observed: “Faster speeds are protective against mortality because faster walkers can maintain a safe distance from the Grim Reaper.”  And Coronavirus.

“The fitter you are at any age, the less you fall.  The more you need help getting out of a chair, the easier you are to infect.  The bottom line:  if you can walk, walk – quick enough to make you pleasantly breathless but not so fast you can’t enjoy the surrounding.”

I certainly could not put it any better than this and walking is an activity that everyone can do together, whatever the weather.  Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, it’s just a case of unsuitable clothing!

Jerry Gear

9.v.21