Category: Health News

Step outside! How walking can help your physical and mental health in lockdown

With the UK entering a national lockdown, we’ve seen gyms and leisure centres closed once again. In the darker winter months, it’s more important than ever to get outside to stretch your legs and avoid that cooped up feeling. Here are a few reasons going for a walk can be beneficial for your mental health and physical health!

Walking can help to reduce stress/depression

A brisk walk helps to release “feel good” endorphins, even a quick walk around the block can be useful on a difficult day

Walking can help keep your heart healthy

Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease

Walking can help with weight loss and increase stamina

Missing the gym? Walking for as little as 30 minutes each day has been proven to support healthy weight loss (and it doesn’t require a membership!). The more you walk, the better your endurance and stamina will be.

Walking could reduce your risk of diabetes

Increasing your movement to 3,000-7,500 steps per day has been linked to reducing type 2 diabetes. Not sure how many steps you’re doing? There are some very affordable pedometers or fitness watches on the market, or plenty of free apps to track your steps. iPhones should have AppleHealth built in and many Android devices have GoogleFit enabled.

Walking can help with brain and memory function

Feeling a bit of brain fog from being stuck indoors? Getting out and walking can help to supply the brain with oxygen and glucose which helps the brain to function more efficiently. It’s also great for making you feel more creative – walking can be a great way to relax and clear your mind, giving you the ability to think more imaginatively and efficiently.

Can I meet friends for a walk during lockdown?

Going for a walk with someone else from your household or within your social bubble is a good way to keep in touch, plus is a great motivator for stepping it out! Hitting your step goal is made all the more pleasurable whilst chatting and catching up about your day, and talking about how you’re feeling.

In England, you are allowed to meet another person outdoors as long as it is for exercise, and not recreational activities, such as a picnic. You will need to keep two metres apart from anyone not in their household or support bubble, or if this is not possible, keep one metre apart and wear a face covering.

To find the most up to date advice on the rules on meeting other for exercise, please consult the government website here.

Easy ways to get walking into your routine during lockdown

The easiest way to get out and walk more is to make walking a habit – think of simple ways to include walking in your daily routine.

Working from home where you’d normally work from an office? Why not go for a quick walk before and after work? The action of putting your coat and shoes on and leaving, then coming back in to sit down can help put you into a arriving at work/leaving work mindset – this is especially important when the lines between work space and living space are a little blurred.

Make walking part of your journey to work. If you are a key worker still travelling to a work place, why not park slightly further away, or get off a bus stop or two earlier. It’s a simple way to add to your step count and get some fresh air before entering the work place.

Use the stairs instead of the lift in your workplace – another simple way of adding to your step count during the work day – just remember to keep your distance when passing people on the stairs, and sanitise your hands frequently if you are touching handrails.

Going to do an essential shop? If you have a supermarket in walking distance, why not walk to the shops? There are plenty of lightweight folding shopping trolley’s available online to help you carry your shopping.

Free Apps to help with walking


This free app helps you log any kind of workout using just your phone or with your favorite fitness device like Garmin or Apple Watch.

Download on Apple Store | Download on Google Play

Active 10

The Active 10 NHS app records every minute of walking you do (anonymously) without any need for a special device – just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go!

Download on Apple Store | Download on Google Play

Go Jauntly

Go Jauntly is a walking app that helps people discover over 700 walking routes throughout the UK. They have teamed up Transport for London to encourage city-dwellers to get walking. Information such as walking times to the nearest Tube station, Overground stations and Santander Cycles docking stations is available as well as directions for local walks and station accessibility.

Download on Apple Store | Download on Google Play


Meditating while walking is a way to get the mind to walk with us and to bring a relaxed focus to this everyday pursuit. Headspace offer a free trial – it can also help with meditation and mindfulness in the home

Find out more

Couch to 5K

Fancy upgrading from walking to jogging? This NHS endorsed app can be completed in as little as 9 weeks, or longer if you want to go at your own pace. It works with your music player and you can choose from 5 trainers to motivate you!

Download on Apple Store | Download on Google Play


This winter wrap up warm, embrace the elements and savour time spent in the great outdoors. A winter walk is the perfect way to reconnect with nature. The Ramblers offer a FREE Walking in Winter Guide, packed with ideas and inspiration to explore the beautiful outdoors this winter. They also have an extensive library of walking routes offers over 3,000 walks for all paces and terrain, right across the country.

Find out more from the Ramblers here


Understanding the risk factors of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Research UK have this week shared their findings from a survey around the public perception of the risk factors of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, say “The findings highlight enduring misconceptions around the physical nature of the diseases that cause dementia as well as low understanding of the risk factors for dementia, which is now the leading cause of death in the UK.”

The Dementia Attitudes survey consists of 2,361 interviews conducted in June and July 2018 and reported that “only 1% of UK adults can name seven known risk or protective factors for the dementia (risk factors: heavy drinking, genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes, protective factor: physical exercise) and 48% fail to identify any.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK stated their key findings to be:

  • More than half of UK adults (52%) now say they know someone with dementia.
  • Only half (51%) recognise that dementia is a cause of death* and more than 1 in 5 (22%) incorrectly believes it’s an inevitable part of getting older.
  • Only 34% of people believe it’s possible to reduce the risk of dementia, compared with 77% for heart disease and 81% for diabetes.
  • Three-quarters (73%) of adults would want to be given information in midlife about their personal risk of developing dementia later in life, if doctors could do so.

Read the full article from Alzheimer’s Research UK here.

You can find out more about reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s here.

To volunteer to take part in dementia research, visit or call 0300 111 5111.


World Cancer Day 4th February 2019

Sugarman Group is proud to join the #IAmAndIWill campaign for World Cancer Day 2019.


Whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world. It’s time to make a personal commitment.

The theme: 2019 – 2021

2019 marks the launch of the 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign. ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.

A 3-year campaign for impact

World Cancer Day is a campaign built to resonate, inspire change and mobilise action long after the day has passed.

A multi-year campaign offers a chance to create long-lasting impact by increasing public-facing exposure and engagement, more opportunities to build global awareness and impact-driven action.

You can get involved in World Cancer Day in many ways:

  • Get personal – Create your own custom social media post with your own personal message of the commitment and share it with the world.
  • Light up the world – Make a statement by lighting up a significant landmark, monument or building to be illuminated on World Cancer Day in the colours of orange and blue in your city.
  • Translate materials –  Volunteer translators help to make World Cancer Day campaign materials, including posters, infographics and factsheets, as accessible to as many people as possible.
  • Spread the word – Write an op-ed, blog story, record a video message, feature World Cancer Day on your website, an article in your newsletter, or reach out to a local journalist.
  • Join the action – Show your support by showing up. Find an event near you on the Map of Impact, sign up to attend, participate or volunteer.
  • Create an event – Inspire others by hosting your own World Cancer Day event. From flash mobs, free screenings, record breaking attempts, conferences, fundraisers to fun runs, add it to the Map of Impact to spotlight the awesome work that you are planning.

To get involved, click here to find out more.

Take a look at the World Cancer Day 19_Infographic_FA



What are your plans for 2019? New Year, New You?

New year, new you with Sugarman

Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? Is it time for a new year, new you? We are hearing so much about not making resolutions but instead changing your way of thinking. At Sugarman, we are always looking at ways to change and improve so we thought you may like to see our top tips on being the best you in 2019.

Set goals – Whether this may be losing weight, getting a new job, quitting smoking or meeting new people, you can set one or many goals to kick off your new year. We would advise to set only one or two goals at a time, so to make them realistic and achievable.

Share them – Write them down, tell a friend, share on social media, however you want to do it, sharing your goals can be really beneficial to tap into support to help you achieve them. If it’s a goal that’s personal and you don’t want to share, write it down and keep coming back to it. It will be a good prompt for you to keep striving for it.

Keep progress – Keeping a note of progress is so important when working towards goals – it shows you how far you have come and spurs you on to carry on. If you are losing weight you could make a note of the scales figures, or take progress photos. If you are introducing exercise, make a note of distance or duration to keep tracking your progress. It will give you a great boost.

Reward yourself – Who doesn’t love a pat on the back for a good job. Rewarding yourself for making leaps and strides towards your ambitions is a great motivator.

We hope you achieve everything you wish to in 2019 and hope these tips help you along the way in your new year, new you ambitions.

If the challenge of a new job is your driver, why not get in touch with Sugarman Health & Wellbeing. We have vacancies available across the UK for Nurses, Support Workers, Health Care Assistants and Complex Care professionals. Contact your local branch HERE to find out more. Or follow Sugarman Health & Wellbeing on Facebook for the latest news and jobs.