The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Walking can help you reach recommended level of physical activity of 150 minutes (two and a half hours) a week of moderate exercise. This could easily be walking in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

Did you know? An average person walking 2mph for 20 minutes can burn over 50 calories.

Fitness walking information

Walking is simple, free and one of the safest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.

Walking makes you feel happier, reduce stress and can improve your mood – Any sort of exercise causes the release of particular hormones/chemicals produced naturally by your body called endorphins that create a ‘natural high’ bringing about changes in your body that make you feel better and happier.

Walking can boost your fitness – Brisk walking that raises your heart rate and makes you warm and slightly breathless is a great example of aerobic exercise. It will help you lose body fat; improve your fitness and avoid heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and stroke.

Walking help you stay in shape – Someone weighing 60kg walking briskly at about 4mph for half an hour uses up around 150 calories. Great for staying in shape or losing any excess weight.

Walking makes you feel energetic – People who walk briskly regularly generally feel they have more energy than inactive people.

Walking reduces joint and back pain – Regular walking gives your knee joints a good work-out, increases your muscle strength and can help to keep your bones strong. It can also help to prevent back pain and alleviate it if it’s already a problem.

Did you know?

A person weighing 70kg can burn about 440 calories by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3.5mph).

Every minute of walking can extend your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes.

Half of all journeys in the UK could be walked as they are less than two miles.

10,000 steps equal about five miles: most of us walk 4,500 a day.

What you can do

The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10,000 steps or more. Set yourself a goal to achieve this by always think of ways to include walking in to your daily routine – use a pedometer to count the steps.

  • Walk part of your journey to work
  • Walk to the shops, local train or bus station
  • Leave the car behind for short journeys
  • Walk the kids to school
  • Do a regular walk with a friend
  • Go for a stroll with family of friends after dinner
  • Join your local walking group

More tips and ideas

  • Living Streets – National charity working to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets where people want to walk.
  • Sustrans – A charity enabling people to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys.
  • Walking.org – Provides information and advice on walking.