Walking every day at a moderate pace brings physical and psychological benefits for the whole family

DKV and the Torrelodones Town Council inaugurate a "Health Walk" in the city. The town now joins others taking part in the initiative, such as Alcobendas, Tarifa and Terrassa

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends moderate physical activity every day to combat obesity. Obesity is one the major challenges for public health, as it decreases the quality of life and also life expectancy and it is a contributing factor in the appearance of chronic diseases.

This recommendation comes as part of the "Caminos de salud" (Health Walks) project, an initiative by the DKV Healthy Living Institute designed to improve the health and lifestyle of the population by means of an information campaign promoting healthier lifestyles.

“Health Walks” are a new concept in physical activity. They provide a suitable and agreeable environment for doing physical exercise, free of charge and in a healthy, family-oriented environment. The routes, which promote moderate physical activity and a healthy lifestyle among the population, are located in rural as well as urban areas, and are permanently serviced and signposted. The itineraries range from 4 to 6 kms long, following recommendations by the WHO.

Torrelodones inaugurated its Camino de Salud today with the participation of the 5th grade pupils from the primary school Colegio Nuestra Señora de Lourdes. The 5.7 km route runs through urban and natural areas and provides wonderful views of the town of Torrelodones and its surrounding area.

Elena Biurrun, Mayor of Torrelodones, declared that “the promotion of a healthy lifestyle" is one of the Town Council’s priorities. She also added that "the collaboration between public and private enterprises allows us to reach more people, and especially children, who are the ideal beneficiaries of the initiative."

Carlos Ávila, regional director of DKV thanked the Town Council for its collaboration and emphasised the importance of preventive healthcare and a healthy lifestyle. "Regular walking has so many health benefits. It helps you to maintain a healthy weight, it reduces your stress levels and it improves your mood. Walking as a family activity also improves the communication and the relationship between the family members", he stated.

This Health Walk is intended to provide a leisure activity to be enjoyed by the whole family. It also reinforces the fabric of the municipality and its connection with the surrounding natural environment. Santiago Fernández, Minister of the Environment added that “for the last five years we have dedicated time and effort to the protection and upkeep of the various routes that run through Torrelodones, with a view to raising awareness of the beauty of the natural environment."

The route runs for 6 kilometres and can be walked in 1 hour and 50 minutes. It starts in Cordel Hoyo de Manzanares and goes in the direction of Senda Arroyo de Trofas. It passes by the Palacio del Canto del Pico, and walkers will be able to learn a little more about its history. The path is surrounded by many types of local plants and trees, with the Peñascales dam in the distance. The walk continues along Avenida de los Peñascales, with wonderful views of the city of Madrid and comes to an end once again in Cordel Hoyo de Manzanares.

Ventajas físicas y emocionales de caminar

Las ventajas de caminar son cuantiosas y su realización altamente recomendada para toda la población independientemente de la edad. Walking activates the joints without damaging them, strengthens the muscles, controls cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of diabetes. It helps to prevent conditions such as arthrosis, it improves the blood supply to the brain, resulting in a better mental performance (walking is highly recommended for children and students), and it activates the memory in older people.

The psychological benefits of a brisk daily walk are numerous; it helps to improve our mood; our feeling of well-being increases when we achieve goals, which in turn increases our self-esteem, walking also prepares us to cope with the stress of everyday life and it helps us sleep better.

Recomendaciones para la realización de la ruta

Como en toda actividad física es aconsejable llevar a cabo una preparación previa a su realización, de modo que podamos conseguir un rendimiento óptimo del ejercicio y evitar posibles imprevistos. Here are a few recommendations for walkers before starting out: wear comfortable clothes and shoes, apply sunscreen and wear a cap; walking with a friend is always more enjoyable. If you are on your own, make sure you are carrying your mobile phone. After a meal, wait for a while before you start walking, and remember to do some warm up exercises first to prevent injuries.
And at the beginning: start walking slowly and build up speed gradually; maintain a steady breathing rhythm throughout the walk; carry water and drink whenever you are thirsty. Reduce your pace gradually towards the end of the walk. When you have finished, do some stretching exercises and check how long you took. Try to improve this time on your next walk.

El Instituto DKV de la Vida Saludable es una iniciativa creada para promover la mejora de la salud y la vida de la población mediante la divulgación de información y la formación orientada a inculcar hábitos saludables. The DKV Healthy Living Institute offers a guide to help people become active agents in the care of their own health. It promotes disease prevention as well as the values of exercise and healthy habits in order to ensure a healthy life.

The DKV Group is part of Munich Health, one of the three business divisions of Munich Re, which combines its broad knowledge of health insurance, reinsurance and risk management. In Spain, DKV Group is present nationwide, with a broad network of offices and clinics where nearly 2,000 employees work, and serves about two million customers.

The DKV Group has a presence throughout Spain, with an extensive network of branches and healthcare centres, where almost 2,000 employees provide service to nearly 2 million clients.