Regular walking can give your body the workout it needs to stay healthy. In fact there's probably no easier way to be active outdoors. Being active through walking can help manage and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis to mention just a few.
There are many other benefits you can gain through walking such as:
- Feel better and look good
- Increase your energy levels
- Sleep better
- Save money
- Enjoy and help protect the environment
- Increase your confidence and self esteem
- Reduce and manage stress and anxiety
- Help control your weight
- Meet people, make new friends and get to know your community better
- Have fun!
- You don't need any equipment or special clothing, just flat sensible shoes.
How much should I do?
To help keep your heart and lungs in good working order, you should do a total of at least 30 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity a day, on five or more days a week. This can include walking.
Another recommendation is to try to aim to walk 10,000 steps per day. This sounds a lot, but you can build up to this gradually. At a brisk pace, you can walk approximately 500 to 600 steps in 5 minutes.
You don't have to do 30 minutes all at once!
If you're not used to walking start slowly and build up gradually. You can split the 30 minutes up into two bouts of 15 minutes, or three bouts of 10 minutes.
It is recommended that you should aim to walk 10,000 steps each day. Again you should build up gradually and try to do a little bit more each day and week. Try to use some of the tips below to increase your steps.
Tips to increase your walking
- Use the stairs instead of lifts or escalators
- Get off the bus earlier
- Park your car further away
- Walk to the shop instead of driving
- Walk to talk to someone at work instead of using the phone or e-mail.
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Trying to think of ways to build more walking in to your daily routine? Find some great ideas and routes in our Walking ideas section.