Walking is good for you

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And how to do more of it

Getting more active doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily walk offers real wellbeing benefits.

Walking briskly can improve heart health, build stamina and burn excess calories*. Fresh air and exercise can also help to reduce stress and improve sleep.

Here are some tips to encourage you to put on your walking shoes:

Make walking a habit

The easiest way to walk more is to make it part of your daily routine. Try walking all or part of your regular journeys (to work, to the shops, to school) or meet up with a friend every week for a walk.

Add variety to your walks

You don’t have to travel to the countryside to find a rewarding walk. Towns and cities offer interesting walks through new neighbourhoods or historic areas. Or you can explore parks, canal towpaths, riverside paths, commons, woodlands, heaths and nature reserves.

Listen to music

Listening to music while you walk can make it easier — and can help you to get into a rhythm and walk faster. The time will fly when you’re enjoying your favourite tunes or listening to a fascinating podcast.

Pick up the pace

Your walking speed will vary according to your age and fitness level, but a brisk walk is around three miles an hour or 100 steps per minute.

One way to tell if you’re walking briskly is if you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song. The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.

Join a walking group

Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, keep going, make new friends and stay motivated. You’ll develop a network of supportive fellow walkers and discover new walks in and around your area.

Key sources & further reading

NHS Live Well: Walking for health

31 March, 2023