Walking is one of the easiest ways to get active and it is free!
Walking regularly will:
- give you more energy
- help you feel good and sleep better
- help you manage your stress
- increase your stamina
- tone your muscles and burn up calories
- strengthen your heart
- lower your blood pressure and cholesterol
- protect against osteoporosis
- reduce your risk of developing diabetes
Little steps to walking safely:
- Be safe, be seen! Wear reflective bands when it is dark.
- Walk with a companion or a dog. If walking on your own tell a family member or friend where you are going and how long you plan to be.
- Good shoes – if your feet aren’t comfortable, you won’t continue walking. Wear comfortable trainers or invest in a good pair of walking shoes. If you walk to and from work, the bus, train or car – think about leaving your work shoes in the office and wearing runners when walking.
- Water – drink a glass of water before and after you walk. If you are going for a long walk, think about taking a bottle of water with you.
- Wear layers! Whether you are walking to the office or heading off in your tracksuit – it is a good idea to wear layers so you can take off your sweater or raincoat or put it on depending on the weather.
- Warm up! Gradually warm up at the start and end of each walk by walking at a slower pace, stretching your arms and legs.
- If you have health problems, check with your doctor before you begin walking.
Little steps to fit walking into your everyday routine
- Step outside and walk in any direction for five minutes, then walk back again – you’ve just had a 10 minute walk!
- Go for a walk during your lunchtime.
- Go walking with a friend. This will give you an added incentive to walk and make it safer for you.
- Get of the bus one or two stops before your final destination and walk the rest of the way.
- If you would normally drive to see a friend who lives nearby, walk instead.
- Use the stairs. If you live in an apartment or work in an office building – forget the lift and take the stairs instead.
- Walk your children to or from school – walk at a faster pace when you are on your own.
- Walk to the shops – if your local shop is close by, take a longer route to give yourself more walking time.