This month we explore walking as it links in well with the National Walking Month from 1st to 31st of May. Living Streets encourage people to take to their feet and feel the benefits of walking. Walking totes the same benefits of running, with the added bonus of being low impact.
To make a walk effective for fitness, (oppose to a leisurely stroll) try: walking fast, walking far or using your arms to "pump" with your steps. This increases the cardiovascular demand on the body and better circulates blood throughout the body.
Here are some ideas for walking:
- Walk to work. If you live within 2 miles of work, walking could take you no more than 30 minutes, burn 100 calories and save 0.5kg of CO2.
- Leave your workstation. Get into a habit to fit in 30 minutes of walk at lunchtime on your own or with you walking buddy and discover parks and neighbourhood in your area.
- Run errands on foot. This may be a little more time consuming but it's worth it to be able to get a workout in. If you did the walk separately, it would take a lot longer!
- Walking on the treadmill at the gym or home is surprisingly challenging. Add an incline to the routine to rev up your calorie burn and overall fat loss.
The Mental Health Foundation has reported that just 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise can improve self-esteem, boost concentration and help us sleep better, as well as combating tension, stress and mental fatigue by flooding your body with happy chemicals like oxytocin and vitamin D. Walking is a great way to improve your physique and overall health and fitness levels. Walking also lowers stress, strengthens the heart, and tones the lower body.