Walking and you
Walking is one of the easiest ways to increase your fitness and improve your health.
To count as moderate exercise you should walk at about four miles an hour, which is about the pace you’d walk if late for an appointment. Do this five times a week and you’ll soon feel the difference.
We know you've been doing it since you were a toddler, but getting your walking technique right will help you make the most of this easy exercise:
- Check your posture – keep your neck and spine straight and your shoulders back and down.
- Think about pulling your stomach in and lifting your pelvis.
- Your heel should hit the ground first, then roll through to your toe.
- Take shorter steps rather than longer ones – it's easier on the joints and will give you a better work out.
- Gently swing your arms to help propel you along. (But you don't need to wiggle your hips or walk like a duck to get the benefits. Unless you want to, of course.)
A good pair of shoes is all the equipment you'll need. Ideally they should be light and flexible with plenty of room around the toe so you can stretch your feet. Leave your heels in the office, or pop them in your backpack, and go for the sporty look.
- Keep the volume down – after all, you need to be able to hear what's going on around you.
- Make sure you have water with you – you can get dehydrated easily. And not just on rare hot days…
- Make sure you can be seen – if you're on narrow pavement or on the road, walk towards oncoming traffic so drivers can see you.
- Plan your route – if you're headed home after dark make sure you know where you're going before you set off. To get planning see our tips for finding your way.