Did you know that walking for just 20 minutes per day will help you get fit, prevent certain health conditions and boost your mood?
It’s also simple, free, great for the environment and doesn’t require any special equipment.
This month it’s Living Streets’ National Walking Month and we want YOU to get involved.
Simply download the NHS app and get outside!
Need motivation? Keep reading to discover the main health benefits of walking and how you can get into the habit.
What are the health benefits of walking?
Walking is a fantastic way to kickstart your health and fitness because almost anyone can do it, no matter how unfit they are. It’s also easy and doesn’t cost a penny (in fact, it could actually save you money).
Here are some of the main benefits:
● It helps you control your weight
● It boosts your circulation and gets those feel-good hormones flowing
● It strengthens your bones and muscles (helping you avoid osteoporosis and stay active)
● It helps improve your sleep, memory, mood and brainpower
● It reduces stress and helps you disconnect from your problems
The more you walk and the faster you walk, the greater benefits you will see.
If you are walking between March and October, you’ll also give yourself an excellent boost of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ vitamin D.
5 easy ways to start walking more
1. Make it a habit
Start by making walking part of your daily routine and sticking to it.
For example, why not take the kids to school on foot, get off the bus or train one stop early and walk the rest of the way or walk to the shops instead of taking the car? Or take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, walk the dog or go walking with a friend.
It might not seem like a lot, but it will soon add up when it comes to your health and fitness!
2. Stay motivated
Listening to music, a podcast or even an audiobook can help you enjoy your walk even more whilst making time go more quickly and boosting your mood. Why not download your favourite tunes or episodes to your phone then head out there to enjoy?
If you’d prefer to get sociable when you walk, consider joining a local walking group and get your friends and family involved. There are numerous groups throughout the country- just head to your local library or community centre, or look online.
3. Keep it varied
As they say, ‘variety is the spice of life!’ So, keep your walks interesting by finding new places to explore. You don’t have to head out into the countryside either. Most local towns boast walks, trails, parks, canal towpaths and other options that can help you explore your community whilst getting fit!
4. Go prepared
Make sure you have everything you need to feel comfortable during your walk. As well as comfortable shoes, consider bringing a raincoat, warm clothes, a sun hat or sunglasses. If possible, also pop water and some healthy snacks into your bag to keep you fuelled and hydrated.
5. Use the Active 10 app
Want an easy way to keep track of how far you’re walking? Download the Active 10 app from the NHS website (Android and iPhone). You’ll gain a huge sense of achievement as you see your scores racking up and get motivated to keep going!
Need extra help boosting your vitamin D levels? Get your high-quality vitamin D supplements from our online shop today or pop into your local pharmacy.