The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend 30 mins physical activity every day for good health. Walking is a great way to achieve that. With regular walking you can:
Become fitter and healthier, and improve cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness.
Feel more energetic.
Increase muscle strength and endurance.
Lose weight, reduce body fat and increase muscle tone.
Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Better manage conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Reduce joint and muscular stiffness and pain.
Strengthen bones and improve balance.
Live longer, by reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
More people walking makes for a safer neighbourhood.
Having lots of people on the street discourages criminal or nuisance behaviour.
Fewer cars means less traffic, pollution and noise also. Research also shows that people walking in a neighbourhood slows down the traffic speed.
Local businesses benefit from walking as people shop and use services locally rather than travelling to large regional centres.
And lastly, people walking encourages other people to walk, creating an appealing neighbourhood. (Which is, of course, also good for property values).
For families, walking is a perfect way to get healthy together.
A walk in the evening can help families by providing a chance to talk, de-stress and connect with people in the neighbourhood.
For children, the walk to and from school can provide vital exercise but also improve the road safety situation at the school gate by removing vehicles from the road.
It's just about impossible to connect with the people in your neighborhood if you are travelling by in a car at 50 km/h with the windows up.
Walking with your family means you get to know more people and that means that many pairs of eyes in the neighbourhood are looking out everyone.
Walking is one form of exercise that won't place a strain on your piggy bank.
No expensive gym fees, no specialist equipment, and you can walk anytime that suits.
The walk to the bus stop or a quick walk at lunch can provide most of that 30 minutes activity all adults need.