Let’s Get Walking
Walking is the oldest and most natural form of physical activity. It is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. It can be done anywhere, anytime and it’s free. Regular walking has been shown to be of benefit to your physical, psychological and social health.
Regular walking can:
- Keep your body fit and active and increase your energy levels,
- Keep your heart healthy and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as reducing your risk of other illnesses such as diabetes and some cancers,
- Develop healthier bones and joints
- Reduce your stress levels and help you sleep better,
- Help you control your weight,
- Help you feel good and improve your mood.
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis or have any symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, dizziness- talk to your doctor for advice on how to manage your condition while getting active.
For health benefits adults need to be active at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes a day on 5 days of the week or accumulate a total of 150 minutes of activity a week. This can be made up in smaller bouts of at least 10 minutes in duration. Use this as a target and gradually increase your walking over a few weeks.
Walking at any pace can be beneficial. When starting to walk do so at a pace that you can manage. Aim to set a pace that slightly raises your heartbeat, makes you breathe a little faster and feel a little warmer.
Some ideas to help you get walking
- Park a distance away from the shops, work or your shed and walk the rest of the way, or better still leave the car at home.
- Get off the bus one or two stops before your destination and walk the rest of the way.
- Go for a walk with family, friends or neighbours.
- Or you could join a walking group (check out the listing of groups on www.getirelandwalking.ie) or start a walking group in your shed or your area.