So it’s morning time, you’ve just routinely spooned cereal in your mouth while finding your other shoe, swirled some mouthwash around and you look out the window to see that it’s not torrential rain. What do you do? Dig out the car keys? Head for the bus? Or, grab your trainers or walking shoes?
The majority of you will probably opt for the ‘easier’ options and leave the trainers at home. When really the easy option would be to walk and reap the benefits in terms of health and peace of mind. Now that the weather is starting to brighten up, there really is no excuse not to use those feet. May is National Walking Month and next week is Walk to Work Week, an initiative that encourages us to get outdoors, involve our workplace and raise some money for charity.
It’s simple, walking = amazing new you! Here are some of the advantages to ditching the car…
Statistics say that walking a single mile can burn up to 100 calories. Just think of the number of calories you can rack up over the space of a week… if you walk 2 miles every day for a working week that’s 1000 calories extra that you’ll have burned. Even better if you try walking to and from work!
As well as burning the fat, your muscles will rejoice in their daily workout. According to Living Streets, the people behind National Walking Month, you use 200 muscles every time you take a step! That means a whole world of good for your calves, thighs and behind…think summer shorts and swimwear.
If you meet the recommended levels of moderate activity per week (150 mins) you can reduce the risk of a whole range of diseases and conditions including strokes, obesity and heart disease. It’s shocking to think that only a third of English adults meet the recommended daily guidelines, when really it’s so little (just 30 mins every week day)! Grab yourself a pedometer and aim for at least 10,000 steps every day which is your daily recommended amount.
Think of how much you detest being squished like a sardine on the underground, having all those sweaty strangers pressing up on all sides with their terrible morning breath. Now think of a hassle-free stroll in the sunshine with no one intruding your personal space. Pounding the streets can let you clear your head in preparation for the day ahead or de-stress from a busy day in the office. Listening to podcasts for the prolonged period of your walk could be a great way to kick-start your day too.
So stride your way to fitness in 2013 and, who knows, you could be entering one of the many walking races or challenges by autumn!