Walking is good for the heart and soul, which of course you already know, Yet since May is National Walking Month it’s an opportunity for us to tell you why.

Firstly, it’s free. Although you might consider a good pair of walking boots if you plan on hiking the Brecon Beacons. However, in this article, the focus is on every day walking and it’s easier to incorporate into your day then you think.

  • Instead of sitting at your desk at lunchtime head out to the nearest park or simply walk the streets.
  • If you’re able leave the car at home and walk to work – great for you and the environment.
  • Take the kids to the local park and rather than sitting on the bench, walk around the park before allowing them on the swings.
  • Organise walking meetings – brilliant for getting the creative juices flowing.
  • Next time you need a pint of milk, walk to the shop and take the long way around.

Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning you’re carrying the weight of your body. And it has a huge number of benefits, including:

  1. Increased muscle strength, reducing your chance of injury.
  2. Stronger bones and improved balance, really important as you age.
  3. Reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
  4. Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness.

To make the most out of this type of exercise you’re looking to achieve a brisk walk. Being able to talk but not sing, unless the moment takes you and you have the breath. And the great news is that this type of activity carries minimal risk to your health.

You might find wearing a pedometer a fun way to increase the number of daily steps you achieve. These are already incorporated into some watches and relatively cheap to buy. Just remember, it’s not only about the number of steps you take, to make walking valuable to your health you will need to increase that heart rate.

If you’re looking to get out of the house and meet new people research local walking groups. Check out the Ramblers website to find a group near you, who also organise walking holidays.

Salisbury Walking for Health group is organised and run by volunteers with trained leaders who lead walks every Thursday morning.  Walking in and around the city of Salisbury with occasional walks in Laverstock and Wilton. Visit their website for more details.

Beyond the physical health benefits, you will find walking clears the mind. Getting out in the fresh air and simply being active has a positive impact on your wellbeing.

Walk alone and enjoy the peace or walk with friends, the choice is yours.

If you’ve got a niggle or ache, a pain in the knee or weak ankle that is stopping you from joining the walking community, get in touch by calling 01722 415 055.