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 150 minutes of 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.
If you start going for longer walks regularly, you may want to invest in a waterproof jacket and some specialist walking shoes for more challenging routes.
Make it a habit
The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Think of ways to include walking in your daily routine. Examples include:
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
Listen to music
Walking while listening to music or a podcast 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.
Join a walking group
Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated.