Wednesday, 4 July 2012

10 Ways To Walk More

We all know that walking isn't just great at the weekend through the Lake District but also something we should be doing more of all the time - it keeps us healthy in body, mind and soul.

So here's a few ways the team here at Walks Around Britain have introduced more walking into our week...

1. Take Your Lunch

Photo - MyUrbanLife
On average, us Brits only take 22 minutes a day of our lunch hour we're entitled to.

Strike a blow for the workers - take the whole one hour and find a place to eat that's a 30 minute round trip walking from your office - 30 minutes eating and 30 minutes walking - excellent.

2.  Listen to your Reading

If you're a bit of a bookworm, why not combine your love of books with your walking?  Lots of books are now released as audio books too - which you could loan from the library or from websites like Audible - which you can listen to on your walks.  If you're happy about to listening to a computer-style voice, certain versions of the Kindle e-book reader from Amazon - like the Kindle Touch - will read aloud most e-books, albeit sometimes with some distinctly odd pronouncation in some instances.

You can always listen to our monthly walking and outdoor podcast whilst out walking - download them from iTunes here. :)

3. Raise some money

For a more long term goal, there are plenty of sponsored walks you can sign up to which raise money for some great good causes.  Two very interesting ones are the Shine walks - which are night time walking marathons taking place in London (September 29th) and Manchester (September 8th) at night, passing well known landmarks along the route.  The organisers are expecting to have 15,000 participants this year and hope to raise £3.5m for Cancer Research UK.  To find out more info, visit the Shine website.

4. Walk to Work - at least once a week

Photo - Living Streets
If you're within walking distance from your work, how about doing just that - at least once a week.

You'll soon see the benefit to your health.

To find out more about walking to work, visit the Living Streets website.

5. Park a Little Bit Away

If you need to drive to work, how about parking 10 minutes away from your office - that way you've got another 20 minutes of walking exercise every day.  And if you pay for your parking, the chances are car parking further away from your office might well be cheaper than where you are parking now.

6. Use the Stairs

Seems an easy suggestion, but if you avoid the lift and use the stairs for a long period, you can greatly increase your lung capacity, blood pressure and cholesterol measurements.

7. Pack up your baby

If you're a new parent, leave the buggy or push-chair behind and take your little one out in a baby carrier harness.  This gives you both unbelievable closeness to your child as well as the ability to go for walks which aren't accessible to buggies.

It's a great way to get your child feeling the wonder of the fresh air whilst at the same time.

8. Get a Dog

According to a Canadian study, urban dog owners are more likely to walk on average almost double the amount non-dog owners did.  There's also many other health benefits now recognised in dog ownership, including the lowering of blood pressure, an increase in mood and others.

But obviously, a dog is for life and should be well considered before taking a puppy on.

9. Take a walking City Break

A long weekend in often takes the form of a trip to the countryside or the coast, but how about an urban minibreak?  There are some great towns and cities across Britain which have great history and stories to tell if you just do a little research.  Link together a couple days of urban walking with a trip to the theatre, great restaurants and museums, and you've got a great break away.

Take a look at our walk around Newcastle-Upon-Tyne's city centre for some inspiration.

10. Use technology to get out walking more

With modern technology as it is now, you often don't have to be in the office to do work, or communicate with people.  Use technology such as smartphones with Twitter and Skype to keep in touch whilst walking and try to schedule television programmes on personal video recorders, such as Sky + or Freeview +.  And don't forget, there's always the BBC's iPlayer and the commercial equiviants to catch up with tv you've missed whilst out walking.