Healthy Tip: National walking month

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There are many reasons to get out walking: it will help to improve your fitness levels, trim your waistline, help to manage your stress levels, save money on transport costs and open up a whole new world around you. 

What’s more, walking is free, doesn’t require any equipment and most of us can do it.  With nothing to lose and a healthier heart to gain, use the National Walking Month of May to get into your stride.

Here are a few tips and interesting facts to motivate you to take steps towards a heart healthy lifestyle:

- Get competitive 
At an average speed of 3.5mph it takes only 17 minutes to walk a mile. So take a brisk walk on your lunchbreak and clock up an extra five miles each week.  Compete with friends, family and colleagues by logging your steps, miles or walking routes over the week

- Make it count  
If it’s calories you’re wanting to stomp out, you’ll need to burn off 500 calories each day to lose a lb of body fat each week.  This isn’t achieved from a simple walk in the park; you’ll need the type of brisk walk that leaves you with a rosy face and stops you from having a conversation easily. If there’s a flight of stairs, take it, if there’s an errand to the bank, run it, if you’re about to miss the train, leg it anyway  

- A little and often can make a big difference
Simple, but consistent changes to your routine like walking to work, parking further away, getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing, all helps to clock up your foot mileage. You’ll be surprised at how much ground you can cover in a day and how quickly you see improvements in your energy and waist line 

- Walk to school
Walking two miles each school day will mean 380 miles covered in a year - the equivalent of 14.5 marathons. With many children falling short of their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day, encourage your kids to walk to school or college by making it all part of the fun. Start a walking bus, pick out characters from the clouds, play car reg lotto and enjoy spending this quality time with your young ones 

Want to go the extra mile? You could try one of our fundraising challenges. Take on the Three Yorkshire Peaks, hike across the Sahara Desert or climb Machu Picchu (Peru). Not only will you get the opportunity to meet new people, enjoy some spectacular views and really help your heart health, your fundraising will also help to fund pioneering medical research and help people live healthier, happier and longer lives.

So step up to the mark, challenge yourself and explore the world. You’ll soon be taking giant steps towards a healthy heart. On your mark, get set, go!