1. What are the benefits of walking?
Regular walking can help you:
- Become fitter and healthier, and improve cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness.
- Feel more energetic.
- Increase muscle strength and endurance.
- Lose weight, reduce body fat and increase muscle tone.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Better manage conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
- Reduce joint and muscular stiffness and pain.
- Strengthen their bones and improve their balance.
- Live longer, by reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
But don’t just take it from us! There are many articles and research from around the world about the health benefits of walking and exercise, and the impact of their enemy, the sedentary lifestyle (see links below).
2. Tips to help you get started
So you want to walk for the good of your health, but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips:
- Start small – even a walk around the block every day will help you build up your stamina.
- Walking with a friend is a good way to boost your commitment to walking, especially if you agree to meet them at the start of the walk, instead of at your home (where it can be a bit too easy to put off the walk and put the kettle on).
- Find a comfy pair of shoes. No point improving your health if your feet have blisters or your back hurts!
- Mix it up and beat the boredom factor by walking different routes around your neighbourhood, or travelling further afield (preferably by public transport!) to take in different scenery.