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Walking is so good for you

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Here's the fortnightly Get Active column by Hettie West of Fenland District Council...

May is Living Street’s National Walking Month, cleverly placed at the perfect time as summer draws closer and the evenings stretch out. Coupled with better weather, May makes for the perfect month to get outside and get walking!

Walking, despite being one of the most accessible, adaptable, and enjoyable forms of exercise, is still seriously underrated. Only 48% of men, and just 20% of women across the UK currently hit the recommended daily guidelines of physical activity set by the Chief Medical Officer (150 minutes moderate-intensity activity per week), leaving over three million adults failing to hit these targets to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, by adding just one 10-minute brisk walk into your daily routine is all it takes to decrease your risk of early death by 15%, making up nearly half of your weekly guidelines with that short burst of activity (Public Health).

Here’s how:

lA 30-minute daily walk decreases risk of stroke by 27% and of other heart problems (NHS);

lBurns calories which leads to weight loss;

lReleases endorphins improving mood and energy levels, whilst reducing stress levels and risk/ symptoms of depression;

lIncreases muscle strength and bone density;

lLargely increases vitamin D intake if walking outside;

lImproves sleep ability and quality;

lImproves confidence and self-esteem;

lCan lead to improved social skills due to meeting new people/ current friends.

With all of this in mind, a reminder of the Ramblers’ brand-new nationwide scheme is due. We have recently launched the scheme locally in Fenland and are always looking for new volunteers to allow us to have as many walks as possible on the go- hopefully one that suits everyone.

Keep an eye on our social media pages (@ActiveFenland) for all information on local walks, how to get involved in walking and how to begin leading your own walks in Fenland.

Contact activefenlandbookings@fenland.gov.uk if you’re someone who enjoys meeting new people, loves walking or wants to get out walking more often, and is keen to get more people walking too.

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