A winter walk could be just what the doctor ordered

Monday , 12 June 2017 by Janine Kendall

Winter is here and as the temperature drops it can be tempting to go into hibernation. But while the chilly days offer little motivation to get off the couch, keeping active is key to taking care of your health.

A Southern Cross Health Society survey looking at the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders has revealed that three in five Kiwis (59%) perceive themselves as overweight, with females (61%) and people aged 40 plus (62%) more likely to think they are overweight.

Southern Cross Health Society’s Head of Marketing, Chris Watney, says nearly one in four (22%) Kiwis have been told that their weight is a concern by their doctor.

“Our research shows that more than half of New Zealanders (54%) have attempted to lose weight in the past year, and while most were successful at dropping the kilos, fewer than half (44%) have been able to keep the weight off,” says Watney.

Females were more likely to try and lose weight (59%) than males (48%), and those aged 40 to 49 years (60%) were more determined to lose weight than other age groups.

“We know that for most people weight loss efforts are centred on diet, and three quarters of our respondents lost weight after watching what they ate. Those aged under 40 were more likely to focus on exercising outside of the gym (61%) and reducing their sugar consumption (57%),” says Watney.

The survey also asked New Zealanders what their favourite type of exercise was, with almost three quarters (74%) saying they enjoy a regular walk. Running (14%) and cycling (14%) were the next most common forms of exercise.

And while exercise may be less appealing in winter, it comes with benefits beyond just potential weight loss.

“It’s also good for boosting energy, lifting your mood, reducing stress and improving your immune system,” says Watney.


The Southern Cross survey was conducted by TNS online amongst 2,007 randomly selected New Zealanders, aged over 18, in October 2016.