Walking, a great way to get fit



As the weather improves and the nights get longer, it’s time to resurrect those forgotten New Year’s Resolutions...

Whilst we are already, somehow, in June, it’s still a great time to start walking - for your health and your wallet. 

Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise, but it can help you:

  • Lose weight and burn body fat
  • Increase your overall fitness
  • Reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Build muscle strength

See… you don’t have to become an Olympic Weightlifter, or sweat more than seems possible during a spin class, to improve your health. What’s more, Walking is free! 

How long do I need to walk for, and how fast?

You don’t have to trek all day. A daily brisk 10-minute walk will already start to improve your health. If that's too easy, try and go for 30-minutes. 

The NHS says that to improve your health, your walk should be faster than a stroll.

However, if you want to be more accurate, why not take advantage of the free NHS app, Active 10? The app lets you know when you’re walking fast enough as well as a host of other helpful tips.

What if I’m not an active person?

Get out there and see what you can do. It’s good to keep in mind that going for a short walk is better than not going at all. Over time, you can gently increase your walking distance. Get a friend to come with you, you can catch up outdoors and get some exercise in too. 

What if I feel like I can do more?

How about the Couch to 5k challenge

This week-by-week podcast series helps you move from staying at home to can’t catch me now. 

The programme has been built to help beginners gradually build their stamina to eventually run a 5k without stopping but don’t worry, you only need to head out the door a couple times a week. It’s a great challenge to get you going. 

Download the Couch to 5k app from iTunes or Google Play.

The app also has celebrity Coaches, including the likes of Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson - guaranteed to keep you going.

How do I make sure I keep doing it?

Motivation to exercise. It’s a hard thing to come by. The key is to make it part of your routine. You could decide that you’re going to walk to work or to the shops, from now on. Alternatively, you could pledge to only take the stairs instead of the lift each day.

Why not set up a weekly meet with your partner or a friend to keep some accountability and make it more fun?

Finally, variety is the spice of life, as they say. You don’t have to do the same walk every time. Perhaps head for your local park, or use this as an opportunity to explore your neighbourhood. For hints and tips on finding new walk, why not try Walk Unlimited or WalkIt - the Urban Walking Route Planner..

Who says walking is just for May - we hope you can get out and enjoy walking this summer… Good Luck!