Walking is the cheapest, simplest and one of the most effective forms of exercise!

Guest Blog from Living Streets

The benefits of walking as a form of exercise are often underrated. From helping improve your physical and mental wellbeing, building walking into your day also saves money and helps the environment.

This week national charity Living Streets is encouraging workers across the country to take to their feet and feel the benefits of walking for WScreen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.50.05alk to Work Week.

From 11 to 15 May companies and individuals can join Walk to Work Week by making simple changes to their day such as walking instead of driving or taking public transport, planning a walking meeting or going for a lunchtime walk.

Incorporating walking into your daily commute can also mean getting off local transport a little earlier or parking your car a bit closer to home, rather than at work.

Walking is the cheapest, simplest and one of the most effective forms of exercise. Walking for just 20 minutes a day can transform fitness levels, improve health and reduce stress and anxiety. With many of us rushing from the commute to the office, and then eating lunch at our desks before heading home for a night in front of the television, we are unwittingly risking our health.

A brisk 20 minute walk can burn up to 110 calories so if combined with a healthy eating plan it’s an excellent way to lose a few pounds. It’s a weight bearing exercise so particularly valuable for women at risk of osteoporosis and so you’ll soon find an improvement in muscle tone and your posture.

The results of 2015 study found that a 20 minute walk each day could be enough to reduce an individual’s risk of early death (Ekelund et al. 2015)

There is a wealth of evidence which shows that physical activity can not only reduces stress and anxiety, but can be as effective as medication in boosting mood. Walking is a great way to clear your head at the beginning or end of a stressful day.

A few simple steps in the right direction can make all the difference. Who knows where walking can take you? Why not step up to the Walk to Work challenge and find out.

For more information or to sign up please visit www.walktoworkweek.org.uk

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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