If you find it difficult to get active, why not start walking? It's really easy to get started, you don't need any special equipment - and best of all it counts towards your recommended amount of physical activity. For lots of us, the word ‘exercise’ conjures up visions of a hard workout at the gym, a fitness DVD in your front room, or perhaps a competitive sport like running, cycling or tennis – all things that require getting into your exercise gear, perhaps some specialist equipment and certainly a good degree of forward-planning. But what we don’t imagine is a stroll around the park or a brisk walk to the shops. But we should – because walking is fantastic form of exercise too.
If you don't enjoy the greatest health or have existing sports injuries, then a gentle stroll is a good way to start building up your fitness levels again. Walking is a normal, everyday activity – and that’s partly why so many people forget it’s actually exercise at all. But a short walk that raises your pulse a little, and makes your cheeks glow is a really easy way to help you stay healthy, watch your weight, and release feel-good endorphins at the same time.
The minimum recommendation from doctors to keep your body healthy and encourage good physical wellbeing is 150 minutes of activity a week – so just over 20 minutes of walking each day is all it takes to hit your weekly target. You can even get some gentle exercise at work with these easy tips:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift - leave the lift for others more in need.
- Take a break away from your department, even if it is only 10–15 minutes – get some fresh air with an invigorating march around the block.
- When you need to talk to a colleague, don’t use the phone or email – get up from your desk and pay them a visit.
- Get off the train or bus one stop earlier and take a brisk walk to work or home.