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Walk More

Colourful web banner featuring people outside walking, you can only see their feet and their dog. To the right hand side of the image reads "make monday matter".

May is National Walking Month and to celebrate, our “Make Monday Matter” series is looking at the benefits of walking. Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to improve your health. Even a small amount of physical activity can make a big difference to your health.

Get involved

Get involved with our #MakeMondayMatter movement by following our socials and let us know how you are getting on to #WalkMore. You’ll find us on FacebookX and Instagram. 

 

Why walking?

Walking can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier. Getting outdoors can improve your mood too and help you to feel less lonely and isolated.

Don’t worry – you don’t need to walk for hours! A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your 150 minutes of weekly exercise, as recommended in the physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64.

How do I know if I’m walking fast enough?

A brisk walk is about three miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll. You can tell you’re walking briskly if you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song.

Or you could use the free Active 10 app on your smartphone. It allows you to track how much and how fast you have walked. It also gives you goals to work towards and rewards your progress.

Download Active 10 from the NHS Better Health website

If you’re not very active but are able to walk, increase your distance gradually.

Why is exercise important?

Exercise is essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have lower risk of:

  • coronary heart disease and stroke
  • type 2 diabetes
  • bowel cancer
  • breast cancer in women
  • early death
  • osteoarthritis
  • hip fracture
  • falls(among older adults)
  • depression
  • dementia

Exercise is free, easy to do and has an immediate effect. Are you getting your recommended dose?

 

Tips to help you walk more

There are lots of easy ways to fit walking into your day. Ahead of a new week, think about how you could do one (or more) of these over the next week.

Make walking a habit

Including walking your daily routine is the easiest way to walk more, from walking part of your journey to work to going for a stroll with friends after dinner.

Living Streets has put together 20 top tips to help you fit 20 minutes of walking into your day.

Get social

Meet with friends and family. You’ll benefit from the fresh air and exercise, while having a chat and a catch up. Take a flask if you fancy a brew!

Mix it up

We are lucky in Greater Manchester – there are lots of great places to walk including parks, woodlands, heritage trails, canal towpaths and much more.

Whether you are walking in the city, town or countryside, you don’t need to do the same route every time. Variety is the spice of life!

Get your groove on

Can’t get motivated to get out of the house? Compiling a music playlist for your walks could help.

Time flies when you are listening to your favourite tunes. If you don’t want to listen to music, you could catch up on a podcast instead.

Join a walking group

You’ll be exercising, meeting new people and exploring new places all at the same time. There’s are lots of Walking Groups in Greater. Find one to suit you on the Greater Manchester Walking website.

Walking meeting

Rather than sitting at a desk, try a walking meeting with a colleague. You’ll be getting active, and it will boost your energy and productivity.

Walking groups are a great way to get outside and make new social connections. The groups are also helpful if you’re not sure where to go or what routes would be suitable for you. No matter your ability, fitness or age, there’s a walk for you.

Greater Manchester Walking

Visit Greater Manchester Walking for a list of local walking groups. You’ll find information about the difficulty of the route, transport details and meetings points, so you don’t need to worry about going on your own.

 

Greater Manchester Moving Festival

Greater Manchester’s biggest celebration of walking and wheeling yet gets underway in May with more than 350 events planned for the 2024 GM Walking Festival. The festival sees groups, charities, individuals, and many others put on free, group-led walks and coincides with National Walking Month.

Get involved with the GM Moving Festival.

 

Maternity and moving more

The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour.

Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable.

Walking is a great form of exercise. Not only is it free but you can also easily incorporate it into your daily life. If you didn’t exercise before, walking is a great way to start.

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. There is evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

 

Last Updated: 3 May 2024

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