Stride into the National Walking month of May
There are many reasons to get out walking: improve your fitness levels, trim your waistline, reduce stress levels and save money on transport costs. Some people even take up a walking challenge such as trekking through a forest, climbing a mountain or rambling around the countryside. Walking is free, doesn't require any equipment and most of us can do it. So, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, use the National Walking month of May to get into your stride.
Here are a few tips and interesting facts to motivate you to take steps towards a heart healthy lifestyle;
Get competitive with friends, family and colleagues by logging your steps, miles or walking routes over the week. At an average speed of 3.5 mph it takes only 17 minutes to walk a mile, so take a brisk walk at lunchtime and clock up an extra five miles each week. At around 6 calories per minute you'll be burning up an extra 500 calories each week
Add more foot mileage by walking to work, parking further away or getting off the bus a stop earlier. Walk to colleagues' desks instead of emailing them and take the stairs when you can. You'll be surprised at how much ground you can cover in a day and how quickly you see improvements in energy, alertness and your waist lineMany children are falling short of their recommended
60 minutes of physical activity every day so walk your children to school where possible. Make it fun by trying to name all the different trees, flowers, bushes or birds on the way and enjoy spending this quality time with them. Walking two miles each school day will mean 380 miles covered in a year which is further than the length of the English Channel (350 miles)
If you fancy a personal challenge, then the Yorkshire Three Peaks event on Saturday 16th June is an ideal opportunity to enjoy some spectacular views of the Yorkshire Dales and give you a great sense of achievement. The challenge is to complete the 25 mile route in under 12 hours and if you hike at an average speed of 3mph, you could burn more than 4000 calories which is equivalent to burning over one pound of body fat.
Check out heartresearch.org.uk/events/yorkshirethreepeakschallenge.
So look down at your feet, not your belly, and keep them moving wherever and whenever you can. Strut into spring, stomp away the pounds and take steps towards a healthy heart.
For more information and advice about healthy living, visit heartresearch.org.uk.