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5 reasons to try walking for fitness

Written by Fiona

October 14 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic, some individuals have found it hard to stay fit. Many gyms have been closed for months, and even now, coronavirus concerns keep some shut.

It’s true that you can do activities such as lifting free weights at home. You can also get a Peloton at-home exercise bike, or one of a number of other brands to stay in shape indoors. However, these options can be costly.

Instead, a great option for staying fit is walking. There are several compelling reasons to do so.

Walking is free

All you need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes or trainers and clothes that allow you to move with ease and freedom – and then you are ready to go for a walk.

You could choose to start with the streets close to your home. Begin with a short distance and build this up each day. A sower build-up with avoid the potential for injury from doing too much too soon.

One thing to remember before you hit the streets is to watch out for traffic. Pedestrian fatalities account for 17% of traffic deaths, so you should avoid busy thoroughfares and streets.

Another great option is to explore some of the many thousands of miles of off-road paths and trails across the UK.

Autumn walking. Credit: Matt Hunter

Walking is very accessible

It’s true that almost anyone can try fitness walking. Whatever your age or fitness, walking is possible for most people but as we said above, you should start with shorter and easier walks and build up.

Even if you’re very overweight, you can still walk around a little. You’ll have to start with routes that don’t challenge you very much, but if you stick with it, you can drop some pounds, particularly if you modify your diet as well.

Walking is sociable

Of course, we all need to be mindful of the Covid restrictions in place but as long as you stick to the rules, including social distancing, you can walk with friends and family. “Walking and talking” is a great idea because it means you are burning calories while catching up with chat with friends.

Why not walk while wearing headphones and give a friend a call in another location? They can also walk and talk with you.

Walking while chatting is a great way to spend some time with people you miss who you can’t meet indoors with just now.

A Walkers Welcome signpost.

Get to know your local area

Walking right from your doorstep, or nearby, allows you to explore your local area. Walking is a great pace for seeing nature, wildlife and even spotting shops and businesses tat you may not have noticed before when you race by in a car.

There is a widescale campaign to shop locally and support local businesses and if you are exploring on foot you are much more likely to use local businesses, such as cafes and shops.

It is amazing what you discover on your doorstep once you start walking.

Find local parks

In most towns and cities, there are public parks. They’re usually open all day and you can either walk or drive there and then check out some nature trails.

Parks a re a great place for walking and also allow you to check out your natural surroundings. Being amid nature and greenery has been shown by many studies to improve mental well-being, which is a bonus for many people during the difficult times of the Covid pandemic.

If you walk every day, you’ll grow to love it. Even when the pandemic concludes and there’s (hopefully) a vaccine, you might decide not to renew that gym membership and stick to walking.

It’s an easy thing to do, and you’ll feel accomplishment when you can take longer walks because you’re in better shape. This can be a small step that changes your life for the better.  

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