Physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to involve buying a whole range of expensive equipment. Walking is a gentle, low-impact way of exercising that is suitable for people of most ages and abilities. And once you have a pair of suitable shoes, it’s absolutely free!

Research has shown that if you can set yourself a goal of walking briskly for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week, you will be on the right track to:

  • Lose body fat
  • Improve your fitness
  • Strengthen your bones and improve your balance
  • Reduce your risk of long-term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers

Another tick in the pro-walking column is that physical activity doesn’t have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise — around 75 minutes per week — improved their fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.

Physical health benefits aside, walking can also make you feel happier. Studies have shown that within five minutes of starting to exercise, our endorphins – the body’s feel-good hormones – are released into the bloodstream and start improving our mood. Don’t forget that walking is often a social activity – meeting friends to walk and chat, or joining a walking group is a great way to feel connected and improve your fitness at the same time.

Active Benefits of Walking