Get Your Boots on: It’s National Walking Day!

Can I encourage you to take a walk today?

Walking is simple, free, and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.  Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.

Take some photos while you’re walking – what nature did you spot? How did it make you feel?  Let me know by commenting on this post.

You don’t have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.  (Source: https://www.isagenixhealth.net)

  • 15 minutes to curb cravings
    All it takes is 15 minutes of walking to actually curb a craving for chocolate or other sweet-related foods. Next time you’re looking for something sweet, take a walk around the block. Source: https://www.isagenixhealth.net
  • 20 minutes for fewer sick days
    According to https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking A study found that those who walked twenty minutes per day for five days a week reported taking nearly fifty percent fewer sick days than those who exercised once per week or less!

You may well have walked a fair bit during lockdown.  If you’re a carer, nurse, porter, housekeeper, caterer etc. you’re most likely on your feet all day. But nothing beats getting outside into nature.   Many of us have walked as our daily exercise for several months now and if like me, you have a dog -you’re out in all weathers. 

Perhaps you need inspiration, you might be looking for a new route?

When social distancing rules are relaxed and we don’t need to think how busy places may be, here are some places you could explore. https://visitbristol.co.uk/blog/read/2017/05/top-20-spring-walks-around-bristol-b472https://www.alltrails.com/england/bristol/walking

It can be difficult convincing children that walking is fun, so build some entertainment into your route –http://Treasuretrails.co.uk have trails all around the UK so the whole family can  Crack the clues to unlock incredible stories from the past and solve the mystery at the end.  Or for younger children try playing a game on your next walk:

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2021/feb/06/10-fun-ways-to-entertain-kids-half-term-cooking-crafting has some ideas….

Spies involves the children secretly following us parents while remaining hidden: they dart from tree to tree, ducking when we turn to survey the scene. Guess the animal (with yes and no answers to questions) can turn into an equivalent based on their latest interests. 

For Sloths, the children hang upside down from tree-branches being sloths and I am a hunter/conservationist coming to steal/help them. 

Motorbikes means running up and down steep-sided halfpipe-like paths and ditches pretending to be motorbikes, making higher-pitched revving noises when going uphill.

When it’s tipping it down outside and you’re working from home, it can be difficult to achieve the recommended 10,000 steps per day. Some people like to walk alone to have headspace and me-time and just be mindful.   Adding a playlist to your walk can be something to really look forward to. Your favourite music, an audio book or an entertaining podcast can encourage you out the door!  

https://gmwalking.co.uk/8-great-podcasts-to-listen-to-while-walking/ features comedy, food, crime stories etc to keep you listening whilst moving. You’ll forget the fact that you’re walking!

And of course, when we’re allowed to again, you could plan a scenic walk around a visit to your favourite café or bar.

Walk a Dog

Dogs are wonderful in many ways, but encouraging activity is something they do best. If you don’t have your own dog, ask a friend, family member or neighbor if you can walk theirs.

Stand and/or Walk While Talking

If you frequently take phone calls, this is a great chance to walk around. Stretch your legs and keep a notepad or device nearby ready to take notes if needed.

Get Up to Walk about Frequently

Aside from being good for you in general, taking frequent breaks is a good way to up those steps.

Using a cup for water can help. Once the cup is empty, it’s your excuse to walk to the kitchen. If you have water goals, get a bottle ready each day with the amount you want, then leave the cup on your desk, and the bottle in the kitchen. Once the bottle is empty, you’ve made your goal.

Or do a walking workout from home. There are several free ones on YouTube such as this one from Joanna Soh https://youtu.be/R3AUw3-jtEo

I hope this has given you the inspiration to get walking.  Enjoy all that your surroundings have to offer… and let me know how you get on! 

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