There are many reasons to get out walking: it will help to improve your fitness levels and 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. So, with nothing to lose and everything 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 with friends, family and colleagues by logging your steps, miles or walking routes over the week. At an average speed of 3.5 mph it takes only 17 minutes to walk a mile, so take a brisk walk at lunchtime and clock up an extra five miles each week. At around 6 calories per minute you’ll be burning up an extra 500 calories each week.
• Add more foot mileage by walking to work, parking further away or getting off the bus a stop earlier. Walk to colleagues’ desks instead of emailing them and take the stairs when you can. You’ll be surprised at how much ground you can cover in a day and how quickly you see improvements in energy, alertness and your waist line.
• Many children are falling short of their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day so walk your children to school where possible. Make it fun by trying to name all the different trees, flowers, bushes or birds on the way and enjoy spending this quality time with them. Walking two miles each school day will mean 380 miles covered in a year which is further than the length of the English Channel (350 miles).
If you fancy a personal challenge, then one of the many challenges such as the Yorkshire Three Peaks or a trekking event such as the Great Wall of China are ideal opportunities to meet new people, enjoy some spectacular views and give you a great sense of achievement.