The wonders
of walking

Given the choice would you walk when you’ve an errand to do? Or would you jump in a car even if your destination was only a few streets away? Walking is vastly underrated as a physical activity that’s good for mind and body, so what’s stopping us walking more.



The longer days are here, the temperatures are rising and whether in cities or country there’s colour bursting into life to enjoy.

Chances are that if you tend to travel everywhere by car or public transport you may be missing out on the changing of the seasons. So now’s the time to make the most of our feet and put them to good use.

Walking doesn’t require any expensive equipment and it’s one of the easiest ways to be more active, healthier and control weight.

A brisk walk can help build stamina, burn excess calories and you don’t have to go for miles for it to be a benefit.

NHS guidance now is for us to undertake a recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. Opting to take a brisk walk for just 10-minutes a day counts towards that total.

(For anyone wondering, brisk is about three miles an hour and one way to gauge whether you’re walking briskly is if you can still talk – but can’t sing!)

Walking and generally being active have a host of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing. It improves our self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and is a significant factor in reducing anxiety, stress and fatigue.

If you want to walk more but have trouble getting going, here are some suggestions on how to make the walking habit stick.
  • Make it part of your routine. Walk all or part of your journey to work. Get dropped off a distance from your destination or at an earlier bus, train or tram stop.
  • Take every opportunity to walk – such as using the stairs instead of the lift at work.
  • Make sure your walk is enjoyable. If you make it a grind, the habit won’t last. Give yourself a reward at the end and don’t set unrealistic goals.
  • Walking while enjoying music, a podcast or audible book can take your mind off the effort.
  • If you prefer company, make it a goal to go for an evening stroll with family or friends or consider joining a walking group.
  • Track your progress. Many smartphones now have pedometer measures built in. Fitness experts recommend about 10,000 steps a day, see how far you’re walking on average.



Here’s a selection of online information which can help get you motivated:

Looking for interesting routes to take that are on your doorstep, there are lots of options in the UK and abroad.

Take in the history and the sights on these 20 city walks.

In Manchester? There are useful activity tips and links to more websites.

The Lake District is great exploring country. Plenty of advice here on making your own discoveries or, if you prefer, guided walks.

If you want to get out in the Lakes but don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, there’s some great walks for beginners.

Cumbria’s not the only place for great country walking, try these in Cheshire.

And in London? Well you’re spoiled for choice with fantastic parks, waterways and the capital’s history and heritage.

Want to know more about the health benefits of walking? Then try the NHS or the Ramblers.

Inspirational walking quotes

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.      Henry David Thoreau

Walking brings me back to myself.     Laurette Mortimer

Walking is my main method of relaxation. I don’t go over my lines or try to solve the world’s problems, I just enjoy the scenery and the wildlife. Kevin Whately

Just a couple of words of caution. If you’re not very active, increase your walking distance gradually. If you’re not active because of a medical condition, it’s a good idea to seek advice first.