Walking is a normal, everyday activity – and this could explain why so many people either forget or underrate it as an excellent form of exercise. But a short walk that raises your pulse a little and makes your cheeks glow is a really easy way to help you stay healthy, keep your weight in check and release feel-good endorphins at the same time.
The minimum recommendation to keep your body healthy and encourage good physical wellbeing is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, so just over 20 minutes of brisk walking each day is all it takes to hit your weekly target. The government also recommends doing strength exercises that work on your muscles two or three times a week, so you may want to add an activity such as yoga to your weekly routine.
In general, any exercise, be it light, moderate or vigorous is better for you than sitting down, so if you work in an office or in a role where you are sitting down all day, you need to be careful. These tips may help add at least a little movement into your day:
Walking can benefit your physical and mental health, and many find that walking is particularly good for switching off, relaxing or even coming up with ideas. Walking is also good as it can be as solitary or sociable as you like. You can sign up for a walking group if you want to meet new people, persuade your friends to go for a walk with you or simply go it alone.
If you want to get a little more serious about walking, you might consider tailoring your diet on days when you are going for a long hike or walk. There’s also plenty of equipment out there to help you with walking, whether that’s the right walking shoes or boots, walking poles or water bottle/hydration pack.
Walking is also a great way to explore Britain’s beautiful countryside and connect with nature. There are many free access footpaths open to all across the countryside and you may even find hidden green spaces in the city once you start looking out for them. Check out the Walk for Life site for recommendations and routes.