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The benefits of walking

Walking is the secret exercise that everybody over-looks. Not only is it stress and pain free, but you don’t have that exercise angst before you start. Here is the best bit – walking can be more beneficial than running. Why not try to get some extra steps into your daily routine? You will be surprised just how much it benefits you and your body.

Keeps you healthy

Walking for at least 20 minutes a day will give your body a real boost and help to fight against a number of health problems. As well as helping to lower your blood pressure, it can alleviate heart disease, diabetes and many cancers. Walking is also an exercise you can do easily even if you have a health complaint, although do check with your doctor beforehand.

Condition your body

Regular walking also strengthens your bones, unlike running, which can sometimes put more pressure on your body than is good for you. It is also a great exercise to tone your muscles with long-lasting effects. Because of the action and lack of stress placed on your muscles, you will notice your legs, arms and waistline will look more lean than muscular.

No stress

Walking is a great exercise to take advantage of because it is easy to do and can fit into your routine. Most people will know a nice park or green area to visit or even walking around the streets where you live is a simple activity to take up. There is not the same kind of personal pressure on walking as there is with strenuous activities such as playing a team game or committing yourself to an hour or two at the gym. Whatever your fitness level, it is up to you!

Getting out and about

If you are working all day, going for a walk is the perfect excuse to get some fresh air. A good walk can help you collect your thoughts, and being outdoors, especially if you go to a nice park or green space, can help improve your mental health and even fight depression. It will also boost your vitamin D, which most people who work 9–5 need, as they are inside during the essential hours of sunlight.

How do you start?

You may feel strange about consciously going for a walk so try to fit it into your routine. For a good workout you should do a 30-minute walk three or four times a week. Try to plan where in your schedule you can make time for walking. Perhaps get off your bus sooner before you get home or walk to pick up your kids from school and get them to walk home with you. Children have lots of energy and will no doubt enjoy the opportunity to run around.

More walking advice

Walking to improve mental and physical health
How to start a walking fitness programme
Walk for a better health

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