Get involved with Walk to Work Day
Posted on 30 March 2022
It's Walk to Work Day this Friday – get involved! Taking simple steps to improve your health could pay dividends years down the line. Taking part also helps you reduce carbon emissions, add some healthy movement to your day, and generally appreciate the world around you more.
If you are lucky enough to live close enough to your workplace, then walking to work is a great way to commute. However, if you’re not close enough to walk the whole way in, why not park further away and walk the last part of the journey or get off the bus a few stops earlier than normal? Alternatively, take a lunchtime stroll: you could encourage your colleagues to join in too!
There are a huge number of benefits to walking:
- It is a great way to keep the doctor away. According to scientific research, just a 20-minute walk per day could cut your risk of premature death by a third.
- Walking also helps prevent and manage chronic illnesses, including reducing the risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and can also help prevent dementia.
- Walking is energising and can help get you in the right frame of mind for the busy day ahead!
- If you’re short on time, a walking commute is the easiest way of getting exercise into your daily routine.
- Strengthens your bones and muscles.
- Improves your balance and coordination.
- Reduces the pollution that would be generated by driving or using public transport.
- It’s free! Therefore considerably cheaper than driving.
- Gives you the opportunity to appreciate the world around you.
Keep it going!
If Walk to Work day has inspired you, check out these top tips to make walking a part of your everyday life. Walking is a great way to stay fit, but you don’t have to spend hours on the treadmill. Just going for a 15 minute walk every day will contribute to health, make your joints feel better, and loosen you up.
Free eco therapy
If possible, try to incorporate green space into your walks - search online for public parks, gardens, playing fields, and nature reserves near you. Studies have shown that there’s a connection between spending time in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
Turn your focus to pace to gain maximum benefits. Several studies have shown the benefits of a faster pace, with one showing that it’s associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. Aim for at least 100 steps per minute – match the beat of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive to hit the target!
Swap caffeine for movement
As well as being good for you, moving around can also combat that afternoon energy slump. Movement can be as effective as caffeine at improving concentration and focus. The only source of energy your brain can use is glucose (sugar), which is carried in your blood alongside oxygen. Walking around gets blood flowing to your brain, boosting energy levels and alertness.
Step it up
Walking the recommended 10,000 steps a day can seem like a challenge if it’s been a while since you exercised.
So start small: 1,000 steps a day, increasing it by 500 steps each day. You don’t need to go on long walks – did you know vacuuming for 20 minutes equals around 1,500 steps? To gain cardiovascular benefits of walking, aim for moderate intensity – fast enough to warm up and feel slightly out of breath. Use a simple pedometer or free phone app to track your steps. If you’re motivated by competition, get a friendly rivalry going with family or friends over who can clock up the most steps.
So why not get involved and Walk to Work this Friday even if it is just some of the way in?