Walking back to happiness – and healthiness – this May

Walking back to happiness – and healthiness – this May

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, aims to create a walking nation, free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illness and social isolation and making walking the natural choice. They believe that a walking nation means progress for everyone.
Their aim is to get people of all generations to enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings, and to ensure all our streets are fit for walking. For more than 85 years they’ve been advocates for walking, and in their early days their campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossings and speed limits.

National Walking Month

This month is National Walking Month and Living Streets is urging the public to ‘Try20’. The campaign encourages people to walk for 20 minutes every day throughout May and observe the big differences small steps can make. This is the third year that Living Streets has run its #Try20 campaign. In previous years, people who have pledged to walk for 20 minutes a day reported stories of weight loss, money saving, improved social life and increased fitness. The charity will offer tips on how to fit 20 minutes of walking into busy daily lives and share stories of those who have experienced the benefits of walking more.

Health experts recommend a brisk daily walk as an easy way to improve your health. Walking has been shown to reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, depression and Type 2 diabetes. In fact, increased levels of walking and cycling could even save the NHS £17 billion over the course of 20 years.

There are a number of simple ways you can incorporate 20 minutes walking into your daily routines. These include:

  • Walk to the shops or to your friend’s house instead of taking the car.
  • Go for a walk with friends or a family member and chat whilst you walk.
  • Take a long cut! Go the long way round and see things you wouldn’t normally see.
  • Take a mindful meander; walking is a great way to de-stress and give yourself some thinking time.
  • Don’t let the weather put you off! Plan ahead and make sure you’re wearing the right clothes for the weather conditions.

In addition to their #Try20 campaign, Living Streets will be encouraging parents, grandparents and carers of school-aged children to walk children to school during Walk to School Week (21 – 25 May, 2018). A generation ago, 70% of children walked to school, now it’s dropped to just over half. Living Streets believes walking to school is part of the solution to many of society’s growing problems, including air pollution, physical inactivity and childhood obesity.

Small change, big difference

Adding a 20 minute walk into your day is a small change that most of us can manage and it could make a big difference to your health and wellbeing. So why not make a daily 20 minute walk part of your routine? Walking is a great long term exercise and it’s free. It encourages mobility; reduces the risk of falls; improves heart health and blood pressure; tones muscles and improves strength. All you need is a good pair of shoes.

Our streets should be safe and inviting places for everyone, including vulnerable people and those with mobility issues. National Walking Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of making streets fit for all.

For more information, visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/nwm, follow the campaign on Twitter: @livingstreets #Try20 or call Living Streets on 020 7377 4900