- Make you feel good
- Give you more energy
- Reduce stress and help you sleep better
- Keep your heart ‘strong’
- Reduce blood pressure
- Help to manage your weight
Walking is the perfect activity for most people as it is accessible, you do not need to travel far to be able to do it, it doesn't cost you anything, you do not need any special equipment, it can help you make friends and you can start gently and build up.
The current recommendation for physical activity is just 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, such as brisk walking. That’s all it takes to feel the difference.
You should aim for 30 minutes a day but you don’t have to do them all in one go to start with. You could walk for ten minutes three times a day or 15 minutes twice a day at first. The most important thing is that you start ‘where you’re at’ and build up gradually.
‘Brisk’ walking means walking so that you breathe a little faster, feel warmer and have a slightly faster heart beat. You should still be able to talk. If you can’t carry on a conversation then you’re going too fast!
A good pair of shoes is the only equipment required – any shoes that are comfortable, provide good support and don’t cause blisters. Loose fitting clothing allows you to move more freely. Wear thin layers rather than heavy, chunky clothing!
If it’s a hot day take a bottle of water, a sun hat and sun cream.
Make it a habit
- The easiest way to walk more is to build it into your daily routine.
- Think before you drive less than a mile – walk to the local shop or post box
- Get off the bus a stop earlier
- Park the car further away at the supermarket
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Enjoy a walking lunch – walk to the park and eat your sandwiches
- Borrow a friend’s dog and take it for a walk
- Walk the children to school
For walking routes around Bath and North East Somerset created by local people please see the link below:
You may also be interested in led walks offered by the Bath Ramblers Walking for Health group. They meet on Mondays (except Bank Holidays) at 11am (new walkers may arrive from 10.45am) at Manvers Street Baptist Church Cafe for a leisurely 60-90 minute walk (with optional rest stops and shorter walks available).