Walking is the closest thing to perfect exercise.
It's recommended that everyone should be active for at
least 30 minutes a day, for five days of the week.
Walking is a great way to achieve this as you can build it into
your day instead of trying to find time for it.
You don't have to do the whole 30 minutes straight away - you
can break it down into 3 ten minute walks or 2 fifteen minute
The importance of physical activity and health
Achieving your recommended 30 minutes of activity a day can help
prevent the development of certain diseases. It can also reduce the
symptoms of some of the following diseases.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease is the leading cause of
death in the UK, killing more than 100,000 people a year. 1 in 4
men and 1 in 6 women will die from this disease.
Walking is a great way to keep your heart strong and reduce the
risk of developing Coronary Heart Disease. Without
regular exercise you double your chance of developing this
It's estimated that around 150,000 people have a stroke each
year. More than 250,000 people live with disabilities caused by
Walking can prevent and help reduce the development of high
blood pressure which can cause strokes as well as reducing the
effects of high blood pressure.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is becoming increasingly more common due to an
increase in the amount of people who are obese. Regular exercise
can reduce the chances of developing diabetes by 33% - 50%.
In England, more than 2/3 of women and 3/4 of men aged between
55 and 74 are overweight or obese. This is set to rise according to
current trends over the next couple of years.
In order to maintain a healthy weight we need a healthy diet to
regulate how much energy we take in as well as using exercise like
walking to manage the amount of energy we use. Ideally we want to
use more energy than we take in.
1 in 4 people will experience some form of mental health problem
in a year.
Taking part in regular physical activity can help improve your
mood, relieve depression, improve your sleep and make you feel like
you have more energy
Making new friends and being part of a group can alleviate the
feelings of isolation and loneliness. The social element of each
walk is a key thing for good mental health.
Not enough time to go walking?
Here are some helpful tips on how to build your 30
minutes of walking into your day.
- Walk to the local shop or postbox
- Get off the bus a stop early
- Park the car further away from the supermarket
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Borrow a friend's dog and take it for a walk
- Walk the children to school
The best way to keep doing something is to build it into
your daily routine.