Walking can help you on the road to recovery after periods of illness and can alleviate some of the symptoms of health conditions. But it isn't just about getting better. Walking can help prevent illnesses from developing in the first place.
It’s recommend that adults take 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week (kids should do an hour a day) and walking is a great way to do it. You might not always think of walking as exercise but in fact it’s been described as ‘the nearest activity to perfect exercise’.
Getting active simply by walking can reduce the chances of getting serious diseases. In fact, it can slash the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and having a stroke by 20-50%.
And there are even more benefits to be had from walking more. It can also help you stay a healthy weight, increase ‘good’ cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, build healthy muscles and bones, improve balance and reduce the risk of falls.
For more information about the way walking can help us lead longer, healthier and happier lives read our Walking Works report, produced with Macmillan Cancer Support.
The great thing about walking is that you can start gently and build up over time. Walking at any pace can improve your overall health but as you become more confident and your fitness improves, you can walk more regularly and at a brisker place.
And you’re not on your own. There are lots of walking groups and programmes, useful resources and inspiration to help you get active through walking and discover the joys of being outdoors and meeting new people that come with it.