National Walking Month, May 2018

Each May charity Living Streets celebrates National Walking Month. It is a month dedicated to encouraging people up and down the country to get on their feet and feel the benefits of walking. It can be fun, flexible as you can choose to do this when you have the time in your day and the best part is that it is free. Five benefits of walking 30 minutes per day Improving your mood – Research has shown that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you will experience a decrease in anger and hostility. Walking outside also exposes you to natural sunlight, which can help the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) combatting the winter blues. Being creative – Whether it is a problem at work that you cannot solve or a personal conflict with a loved one walking can be the solution to solve an issue that has arisen. Taking time out can give you the space you need to resolve a problem. Weight loss – Regular walking can help improve your body’s response to insulin, which can help you reduce body fat. Daily walking also increases metabolism and burns extra calories. Health benefits – Walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk of getting diabetes. It can also reduce the risk of having a stroke by 20% - 40%. Research has shown that people who walk for 30 minutes or more five times per week have a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Being more sociable – Making your walks social with a friend, partner, neighbour or a colleague at lunchtime will mean that you are staying connected to the people that are important to you, which will also boost your mood. Top tips to become more active

  • Move more and sit less each day
  • Set yourself a daily target – e.g. 30 minutes
  • Fit activity into your day
  • Have walk and talk meetings
  • Commute in a healthy way
  • Move your body position every 60 minutes
  • Join a gym class or walking group for support to keep you engaged
  • Find an exercise buddy and friends
  • Involve family in activity
  • Plan sessions in advance
  • If you miss a session, try to get back on track as soon as possible

Track your progress Recording how many steps you take, the distance you have walked and how long it has taken on your phone or wearable can help keep you motivated and inspired to continue with your new routine. Keeping track of how many steps you have walked each day, week, month and year will enable you to push yourself even further. Walking to school week pledge 21st – 25th May Walking to school week takes place each May and in 2017, 400,000 children and their families across the country joined in the challenge and started their journey to being more health with regular walking. One in four cars are on the road at peak travel times on the school drop off and pick up. Not only will taking part in the ‘walking to school week’ benefit you and your family’s health it will also cut congestion and reduce air pollution. Click here and sign up for this year’s challenge. Useful websites and organisations

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