Walking is simple, free, and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier. You don't have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 2.5 weekly exercise
Before you start
Any shoes or trainers that are comfortable, provide adequate support and don't cause blisters will do.
If you're walking to work, you could wear your usual work clothes with a comfy pair of shoes and change shoes when you get into work.
For long walks, you may want to take some water, healthy snacks, a spare top, sunscreen and a sunhat in a small backpack.
A brisk walk is about three miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll.
There are many apps for your smart phone, I personally use my Apple Watch and combine it with my iPhone, previously I have used Runkeeper this is brilliant for displaying a map to show where you have been and you will be able to share on social media (also works for many other activities).
If you are not very active do not worry, because if you are are able to walk, increase your walking distance gradually. If your joints are a problem, check whether your local swimming pool holds exercise classes. The water helps to support your joints while you move, and once you lose a bit of weight, the pressure on your joints will reduce.
Make a habit of it
The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Think of ways to include walking in your daily routine.
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 while listening to music can take your mind off the effort. Music can also get you into a rhythm and help you walk faster. You'll be surprised at how fast the time goes when you're walking to your favourite tunes.
By Danny Silk PT