45Walking. Perhaps one of the greatest paths to wellness…..

The benefits

  • Fitness – walking improves your cardiovascular fitness.
  • Health risk – walking reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Silent killers – walking helps with the management of the three silent killers: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar / diabetes.
  • Bones – regular walking builds bone density and strength.
  • Strength – walking builds muscle strength.
  • Lean mass – walking increases your lean mass (muscle) and decreases your body fat percentage.
  • Sweet cravings – walking has been shown to help curb those cravings for sweets and treats.
  • Arthritis – regular walking can help to prevent arthritis and to manage & control it should it occur.
  • Immunity – walkers have almost half the risk of getting colds and flu, compared to sedentary folks.
  • Stress – almost any form of activity or exercise can help with stress, but walking is especially good here.


How much?

Most adults do 3000-5000 steps a day. The general and widely-used target is 10 000 steps a day. We think 8000 a day is a realistic initial goal. How many steps are you doing? There are many ways to walk more, here are 5 simple ideas:

  1. Park further away and walk.
  2. Take 5 or 10-minute breaks and walk a quick loop around the house or office.
  3. Walk the dog. Or get a dog.
  4. Go to the beach, or the park, or round the neighbourhood.
  5. A quick 15-30 minute walk is a great way to start your day.

We are sure you can think of at least 5 more good ideas that will work for you, and then you have 10 ideas to try…

You do not need fancy gear for this. Comfortable shoes are important – no high heels please. Dedicated walking or running shoes are best but a simple comfortable shoe is fine for all but very long walks. We suggest starting at a pace you feel comfortable with (you should be able to maintain a conversation), only starting to push the pace a bit once you have been walking regularly for at least a month. Please ask your doctor if you are unsure about whether you can walk safely, and certainly if you have been completely sedentary for more than 6 months.

We are designed to walk, we can walk, it’s good for us in so many ways, and it’s not difficult……what’s stopping you?