Walk This May
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By Sarah Philpott, Communications Coordinator
This May sees the return of National Walking Month, the chance for us all to enjoy the benefits of walking and being active.
Now that we are once again able to meet friends and family, why not catch up over a walk? Spending time in fresh air and keeping active can do us the world of good – for our physical and mental wellbeing.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay active, plus it’s free! And it’s great for busy people too: just 20 minutes can help improve our health and help you get from A to B. When you leave the car at home and walk for short journeys, you’ll soon notice the difference in how you feel.
National Walking Month is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking. This year, the charity is urging everyone to #Try20 – walk for 20 minutes every day throughout May to maintain their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Health experts recommend a brisk daily walk as an easy way to improve your health with a 20-minute walk being shown to reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions, including certain cancers, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Walking together keeps us connected and can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Next time you head out, why not invite a neighbour or a friend? It often helps to walk in someone else’s shoes and a quick walk and chat might make someone’s day.
Living Streets has issued #Try20 tips for how to make the most of walking, with activities for everyone, whether you’re walking to and from school or the office, are planning a weekend stroll or popping to the local shop.
Walking back to happiness
Health experts tell us that adults, including older adults, should aim to be active daily, and do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week. Brisk walking and cycling are activities that meet the guidelines. However, one in five people don’t walk for more than 20 minutes at all in a year.
Finding ways to move more is incredibly important, which is why walking is so great. Walking is one of the easiest ways to fit some more movement into your day, which is why Living Streets campaigns for more inclusive, more walkable streets, and spaces that meet everyone's needs – and that are safe, vibrant, and enjoyable for all.
There are so many health benefits associated with walking. Visit livingstreets.org.uk/May for links to all the #Try20 tips activities and share how you’re celebrating #NationalWalkingMonth on social media.
Walking in someone else’s shoes
It’s fair to say that life has changed drastically for a lot of us in recent years. During the pandemic, walking helped reduce feelings of isolation and inactivity – and that’s just as important today.
Our streets are the places where community life plays out and walking together can help us feel happier and healthier. Did you know that active people report higher levels of mental wellbeing and are more likely to be satisfied with their life, feel happier and less anxious? Meanwhile, mental ill-health is estimated to cost the UK more than £94 billion each year.
Meeting up with a friend or neighbour can make it easier to exercise regularly and it’s a chance to talk about how you’re feeling. It might also make you notice what changes are needed to make your daily walk more enjoyable. Narrow footways, inappropriate speed limits and cars parked on pavements can all impact on our ability to exercise safely. Now more than ever, we need to make sure there’s enough space for people to get out and walk.
Living Streets want to help you to keep walking. Visit livingstreets.org.uk/may for tips, inspiration and all the latest health advice to keep you inspired.
Contact: Kathryn Shaw, Communications and Media Manager, Living Streets, email@example.com
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