It’s National Walking Month

May 8, 2014 in Community Issues, Health & Fitness, Latest Articles, News, Other, Uncategorized

It is that time of year again when we are encouraged to walk more. But why walk? Well, let’s look at the advantages of travelling by foot – after all there are so many, and with May and National Walking Month being upon us, there’s no better time to get striding out.

Here at FunMeFit we love walking, it’s FUN, it can be done by ME (and you), and it keeps us FIT. In fact it spells our name, ‘FunMeFit’ so why wouldn’t we love walking?
The Department of Health recommends we should all walk more; in fact, they even have a goal for us to aim for – 10,000 steps a day. That’s a lot of steps! So how far is 10,000 steps anyway? Well it’s around 5 miles, dependent on your stride length of course, but the easy thing about walking is it is so natural and convenient to do.

You don’t require a gym membership, special equipment or clothes, just a little motivation, some basic comfortable footwear and a little commitment. You can choose to plug your ear phones in, enjoy the sounds of nature, walk alone, walk in a social group and enjoy the fresh air. Create the perfect walk that suits you and your lifestyle, that way it is much easier to stick to. What’s more, you can incorporate it into your everyday life. It’s kind of fun to create these little opportunities to walk more. Got a half hour lunch break at work, make use of the time and slot some walking in. In a shopping centre, hit the stairs instead of the escalator. Travel by bus, get off a stop earlier and walk the extra distance. You see a sprinkling of imagination and we can find the time to do a little extra walking.

We are probably all aware of the many benefits walking can bring us, but the real challenge is committing to actually walking more. So devise a plan, set a goal and aim to stick at it. Rally your family and friends around you for extra support, even better get them involved, you could even award points and prizes for the person who has walked the most during the week or month.

It’s not just about us but about our children too:

           “Children who can walk on their own should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (3 hours). This should be spread throughout the day, indoors or outside.

            The 180 minutes can include light activity such as 
            standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as 
            well as more energetic activity like skipping, 
            hopping, running and jumping.

            Active play, such as using a climbing frame, riding 
            a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball
            games, is the best way for this age group to be
            physically active.” Source: NHS

 

You may think it is a little childish having competitions and winning points, but let’s be honest it has to be fun, and I have to admit I still love a prize as an incentive even as a ‘mature’ adult. Besides, the long term physical and mental health benefits of walking are too good to be ignored, which is the very reason why the NHS wants to encourage us all to do more of it. And it’s not only the NHS, there are lots of organisations offering free advice on walking such as Living Streets and the Ramblers – Britain’s walking charity.

So, let’s throw away the excuses, take advantage of the supposedly better weather coming now summer is around the corner and let’s all get those steps in. Want some extra motivation or want to read more on the benefits of walking? Check our links page below for some handy online tools. And don’t forget between the 12th–16th May its National Walk to Work Week and between the 19th – 23rd May National Walk to School Week. FunMeFit are up for the challenge – are you?

NHS walking information
37,000 lives saved by walking
NHS 10,000 steps video
Walking for Health

Source: NHS - Walking for Health http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/getting-started-guides/Pages/getting-started-walking.aspx

Source: NHS – Walking for Health

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