The Wonders of Walking
There are loads of benefits of walking - it’s free, it’s simple, it can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers, it can lift our mood and it can help us lose weight!
The NHS encourages us to try and walk 10,000 steps a day. Most people walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day, so building up to 10,000 is a daunting task for most people can be a bit daunting! Focus instead on increasing the amount you walk gradually, getting off the bus a stop earlier, doing a lap of the office, walking to the local shop instead of driving. To reap the health benefits you need to walk at a moderate intensity, so make it a brisk walk. Here are some ways to get more walking into your day:
- Make a daily routine of going for a walk after dinner.
- Walk to work, or get off the bus early/park further away and walk the rest of the way to work.
- Explore your area – you don’t have to walk in the country to get a good walk, explore the city, look up local heritage trails, find new parks and river trails.
- Walk journeys that take less than a few minutes in a car.
- Get a pedometer or a walking app and see how many steps you take in an average day, and build up gradually - if you typically walk 3,000, try and do 4,000 next week - keep building up. Challenge friends and family to see who can walk the farthest each day.
- Join a walking group – you’ll stay active and meet all sorts of different people.
- Walk your children or grandchildren to and from school, it will also help get them more active and build a healthy habit.
Did you know?
- The average person can walk 1,000 steps in around 10 minutes.
- A person who weighs 11 stone will burn around 400kcals walking 10,000 steps a day at around 3-5mph.
- The more you walk, the more calories you burn and the more weight you’ll lose.
- Technically, if you’re walking 150 minutes of walking per week, you’re meeting official health recommendations. But it’s always beneficial to your health to do some more aerobic and strength exercising too.
- The average person walks at around 3mph. Walking at that speed, did you know that a car journey that takes 2 minutes can be walked in around 15-20 minutes? And a person who weighs 12 stones would burn off around 100kcal in the process?