Walking can provide calmness in our daily lives (as opposed to that nervous panic when your train is delayed or you’re stuck in traffic), and the opportunities that walking presents whether this be the opportunity to pick up a pint of milk, to check out the menu of a new restaurant or to burn off more energy than you would sat in your car.
Walking to and from everyday destinations is also a great way to clear the mind, it gives you time to process your thoughts, let your mind wander and for you to take in some fresh air. Walking can have beneficial effects on your mental wellbeing as well as your body’s wellbeing; one hour of walking can burn a similar amount of energy to that found in a large latte made with whole milk, a Cadbury’s Wispa bar or a small portion of nachos!
Government recommendations are to aim for 150 minutes of weekly exercise, and brisk walking is one of the activities that count towards this goal. Trying to include a brisk 10 minute walk daily can have a number of health benefits including: building your stamina, burning excess calories and help maintain your heart health. It may sound so simple but walking truly is the most simplest activity you can do that can get you more active, help you loose weight and better for the environment!
In the summer months we can dare but hope for some warmer weather in the UK, making the outdoors far more inviting, and with British Summertime hours being firmly in place there’s even more light hours in the day. Taking a walk after your evening meal can be a lovely way to spend your evening and can help reduce fatigue, often felt after eating a large meal, as well as instilling a sense of calm over your mind and body.
Similarly taking an early morning walk before starting your day’s activities can help you to feel much more awake and refreshed, again giving you time to process your thoughts and put your mind at ease, ready to start the day ahead. Walking being a form of physical activity can provide a protective effect on the body’s circulatory1 and respiratory systems also. Incorporating a walk into your morning, your lunch break, your evening or even your journey to everyday destinations could be one of the most enjoyable parts of your day.
1Jefferis, B et al. 2013. Protective Effect of Time Spent Walking on Risk of Stroke in Older Men. Stroke. [Online]. [Accessed 3 May 2017].
How to incorporate walking into your daily routine?
- On your journey into work, if you drive in, park your car further away from the office and walk the rest of the way, if you take public transport get off a stop or 2 earlier and walk the rest.
- Opt for the stairs instead of the lifts when you are at work or out and about, you will get your hear rate pacing and burn those calories!
- Next time you plan to meet a friend for a cup of coffee and cake suggest a walk round the local park instead.
- Doing the school runs, try if possible to walk with your kids to school which not only benefits you but your kids too!
- Try to fit in a 15 minute brisk walk during your lunch break, it would do you good to take a break and stretch your legs and it will help towards a productive afternoon.
- Local journeys, try to get walking to those corner shops/town centres to run those weekly errands, plus carrying some shopping will help towards your recommended weekly strength exercises.
- Join local walking clubs there are plenty on in many towns so just find out in your local town centre and sign up!
- Park runs- they don't just mean you have to run you are more than welcome to walk these routes too so just find out whats going on in your local community.
- To find out more on how to join such activities head over to https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/ a UK charity for everyday walking.