The health benefits of walking, and how to stay motivated
It can be hard to convince ourselves to walk to work when the car or the train can make the commute that much shorter, but give it a go. Walking is free, builds your stamina, burns calories, and helps with your heart health. The NHS recommends a brisk 10 minute walk daily.
Here are some suggestions for getting you started, and helping to keep you going.
- Build up gradually – if you live a fairly inactive lifestyle, don’t go all in at once. Be gentle with yourself and gradually build up speed and distance as you are able.
- Make it a habit – if you make walking a part of your daily routine, it will soon become normal rather than effort. Walking to work is an excellent way to start.
- Use apps to find the best routes, Walkit is great for helping you plan your route if you live in a city, including telling you journey times, calories used, and steps.
- Hikideas is perfect for if you want non-urban walking routes as well as urban ones.
- Listen to music as you walk – it helps get you into a rhythm, and takes your mind off of the effort.
- Use an app like Active 10 from the NHS to track your walking, and get goals to work towards and rewards to earn.
If you have gotten the walking bug now, have a look at some of these sites for interesting walks in your area:
- For inspiring walks, visit Walk Unlimited.
- For wheelchair users, visit Walks with Wheelchairs, and for parents with buggies, visit Walks with Buggies.
Even if you are snowed under at work, remember that Deskercise is always an option too.
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