How to walk more (in national walking month)
May is national walking month in the UK and the organisation Living Streets
is encouraging as many people as possible to go out and take a few steps to better health.
The benefits of walking
- Walking helps to burn calories and keep you fit and healthy
- Walking is great for improved mental health
- Fresh air blows away the cobwebs and helps you to de-stress
- Walking saves money if you chose to go on two feet rather than car or public transport
- Walking is environmentally friendly and a great carbon buster
- Walking offers time to talk and get together with other people.
Positive study results on walking
- Walking for just 20 minutes burns up to 100 calories
- 88% of people who walked saw an improvement in mood
- Walking to work every day can save 17kg of carbon dioxide.
10 tips for walking more
Walk to work:
If you live within a few miles of your workplace walking is the perfect way to commute. If you live further away, jump off the bus or train a few miles from work and walk the rest of the way. Or park the car further away from work and walk the remaining distance. You will save money, reduce your carbon footprint and become fitter as a result.
Walk the kids to school:
May 18 to 22 is Walk to School Week. Join the kids for their walk to school every day. Even if you live too far from school to walk all the way each day, you could park the car a mile from school and walk that final section.
Parents who walk their kids will gain from double the distance because they need to walk home or back to their car again. The benefits of walking are a healthier family and also the time to chat and bond with your kids.
Walk before breakfast: G
et up half an hour earlier and go for a brisk walk before breakfast. If you have a dog, your pet will thank you very much for the extra exercise. An earlier rise doesn’t feel too bad after a while and you’ll gain fitness and calorie burn from a daily walk.
Walk and talk:
Instead of meeting a friend for a coffee or a glass of wine plan to meet them for a walk and talk. You can do the same with work meetings.
Make it a habit:
One of the best ways to walk more on a regular basis is to make it part of your everyday routine. Think of a time each day when you can easily walk, such as to work, school, the shops or the gym. Instead of jumping in the car or catching the bus, simply make it a rule that you’ll walk. It might take a little more time but the health benefits will soon be obvious.
Play a walking game:
You could be a kid or a grown-up kid. It doesn’t really matter because whatever your age you’ll enjoy a walking game. And when you are playing a game you will forget all about the walking aspect! It’s a great way to get reluctant walkers to walk.
Try Shadow Tag, which is a game where you try to jump on each other’s shadows, or Mind the Gap, where you avoid stepping on the cracks between paving stones.
Walk with friends:
Leisure time, such as the weekend, is the ideal opportunity for a walk with friends. Make a plan with friends and decide where and how far you will walk. Each meet up could be in anew place or a longer distance.
Sign up to an event:
You could enter a walking event such as a charity walk or a walking marathon. There are also many long-distance walking events such as the Caledonian Challenge. If you have a goal you are far more likely to put in the miles of walking in training.
Set a walking challenge:
Have you heard of hill bagging
? You could aim to walk to the summits of different hill groups such as the Wainwrights, Birketts, Donalds, Grahams, Corbetts and Munros. There’s also trig bagging
to try. If you have the aim of a challenge you are much more likely to get out and walk.
Plan a walking holiday:
As you become fitter and healthier your thoughts might well turn to the benefits of a walking holiday. Exploring on foot is the perfect way to see new places and keep fit at the same time. Check out Macs Adventure
for thousands of choices worldwide.