So what are the benefits of walking and how can we reap those benefits?
In short, it's good for your health, wellbeing and the environment!
Health and wellbing
Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.
More than that, a good walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. Being active has a whole range of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing. It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover. In older people, staying active can improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
If the improved health wasn’t enough, there are of course environmental benefits from walking. Walking doesn’t leave a carbon footprint, just your own. And if we all swapped one weekly drive for walking, traffic would reduce by at least 10%.
You don’t have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.
Walking doesn’t leave a carbon footprint, just your own. And if we all swapped one weekly drive for walking, traffic would reduce by at least 10%. Imagine that: safer and quieter streets for children to play on and for people to socialise in.
Make it a habit
The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Think of ways to include walking in your daily routine. Examples include:-
- walking part of your journey to work
- walking to the shops
- using the stairs instead of the lift
- leaving the car behind for short journeys
- walking the kids to school
- doing a regular walk with a friend
- going for a stroll with family or friends after dinner
Walking is one of the easiest ways to be physically active – it doesn’t even have to feel like exercise. All you need is a comfy pair of shoes, and once you get moving you’ll feel fitter, healthier and happier.