Join Britain on Foot to live longer and healthier
Most people would be happy to add four years to their lives. And, according to research, for many it’s as simple as walking. This month, a new Britain on Foot (BoF) campaign has been launched with the aim of encouraging more UK people to lead happier, healthier and longer lives.
Benefits of walking
Walking is a great form of cardio and strength building exercise. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that doing just 150 minutes of light exercise a week – that’s only five 30-minute walks – can extend the average life span by more than four years.
Another research paper, found in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that “poor physical fitness (cardio-respiratory fitness) accounts for over 15% of early deaths in adults”. That 15% is more than deaths from diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol combined.
The Britain on Foot campaign is calling for more people to enjoy the UK’s 150,000 miles of public footpaths and rights of way, which includes walks in urban and rural areas.
Andrew Denton, chief executive of the Outdoor Industries Association, which developed the Britain on Foot campaign, is reported as saying: “Britain on Foot has huge potential and can make a real difference to the lives of people in the UK.
“Walking, along with many other outdoor activities, is such a simple route to a better lifestyle and it’s so easy to get started. This campaign will make it even easier, offering inspiration, ideas and practical support that will help get one million more people enjoying the outdoors and leading healthier, happier lives in the process.”
How to start walking for fitness
You don’t need a great deal of kit, apart form comfortable well-fitting shoes. Trainers or walking shoes will be good to start with if you are walking on tarmac or firm trails. Loose clothing that is made, preferably, from breathable fabrics, will keep you cool and comfy. Take a water bottle with you or a walking rucksack with a water bottle stowed inside.
To find somewhere to walk you could check out walking websites such as:
Or join a local Walking for Health scheme or Ramblers group during Get Walking Week.
Walking holidays for fitness and health
A holiday that combines new sights with good health could be attractive as you increase your fitness levels. Walking holidays do not have to be hard work and they can take you to many new places. Great holiday walking for new-comers.
Four easy graded walking holidays
Tuscany: From Florence to Siena
Las Alpujarras Escape
Provence: Villages & landscapes of the Luberon
Do you plan to start walking as part of the Britain on Foot campaign?