Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
Walking is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels and it has been proven to reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses. Walking is one of the easiest and best forms of exercise:
- It’s free
- You can start slowly and build up gently
- You can walk anywhere and at any time
- You don’t need any special equipment
- All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes
- It’s a chance to make new friends and socialise
Walking also has many health benefits:
- Can reduce the risk of heart disease by half
- Lowers the risk of strokes
- Reduces the risk of some cancers, particularly colon and breast cancer
- Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and can help control diabetes
- Improves mood and reduces the risk of depression
- Helps older adults to protect their joints, stay independent and reduce risk of falls
There are many ways you can fit walking into your daily life for example:
- Walk to and from work
- Walk to the local shops instead of taking the bus, train or car
- Climb the stairs instead of taking the lift
- Use your lunch break to take a walk
- Walk your children to and from school
- Join a local Health Walk group
Did you know that brisk walking for just 30 minutes a day on at least 5 days of the week can help you:
- Feel good (you will feel fitter and feel better about yourself)
- Have more energy
- Reduce stress
- Sleep better
- Reduce your blood pressure
- Manage your weight
As a nation we rely too much on cars and public transport because we believe it makes life easier. By making active travel choices you can easily fit physical activity in to your day.
It may take you a bit more time and you won’t be able to do it for every journey however, you will be surprised at how many travel swaps you can make throughout your day.
If you walk or cycle instead of driving or taking public transport you can also save a bit of money, as well as the environment!
So why not give it a go?
Tips on how to get started…
- Park in the furthest away space in the car park or park a few streets away and walk from the car.
- Get off the bus a stop/few stops early and walk the rest of the way
- Walk to the shops and carry your shopping home
- Swap school run for school walk/cycle
- If you live close enough cycle or walk to work – you will get fitter and save money in the long run.
- If you travel by train, standing rather than sitting means that your body is working harder. Choosing to use the stairs and walking up the escalator also means that you are getting your heart pumping.