National Walking Month - Walk to Work

walking-210520_640This week the Living Street’s National Walking campaign is focusing on getting more of us to walk to work. Walking to work is one of the best ways to incorporate walking into our lives as it is regular exercise (the holy grail of successful fitness) as we usually go to work every day (or every few days if we work part-time) and we have to get to work so we can’t put it off like we can with other forms of exercise. So this week, take some time to see if you could incorporate some form of walking into your daily commute to work. Even if you live too far away from your place of work to make walking there unviable, you can still try to walk part of the way. Perhaps you could park the car a little further away from the office or you could get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the last part.On the Living Streets website there are lots of great tools and links to help you plan your potential walking routes. One such is the website which has the urban walking route planner. You can put in two locations and not only will it help you plan your walking route, it will also tell you how long it will take to walk, how many calories you are likely to burn, you step count and even your carbon saving! If you are just walking for pleasure they also have suggested circular walks for you to try in your area and which could be ideal for lunch time walking.

On the Living Streets website they also have some great advice on getting your walking technique right, which I thought I’d share with you. Even if you think you know how to walk, it’s good to really think about what you are doing to ensure you don’t injure yourself!

  • Check your posture – keep your neck and spine straight and your shoulders back and down.
  • Think about pulling your stomach in and lifting your pelvis.
  • Your heel should hit the ground first, then roll through to your toe.
  • Take shorter steps rather than longer ones – it's easier on the joints and will give you a better work out.
  • Gently swing your arms to help propel you along. (But you don't need to wiggle your hips or walk like a duck to get the benefits. Unless you want to, of course.)
  • A good pair of shoes is all the equipment you'll need. Ideally they should be light and flexible with plenty of room around the toe so you can stretch your feet. Leave your heels in the office, or pop them in your backpack, and go for the sporty look.
  • Keep the volume down – after all, you need to be able to hear what's going on around you.
  • Make sure you have water with you – you can get dehydrated easily. And not just on rare hot days…
  • Make sure you can be seen – if you're on narrow pavement or on the road, walk towards oncoming traffic so drivers can see you.

So please do get out and about this week and walk as much as possible. Why not even walk to and from class!