Walking for Health

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. It's also great for relaxing the mind.

Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.

You do not have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

Before you start

  • Any shoes or trainers that are comfortable, provide adequate support and do not cause blisters will do.

  • If you're walking to work, you could wear your usual work clothes with a comfy pair of shoes and change shoes when you get into work.

  • For long walks, you may want to take some water, healthy snacks, a spare top, sunscreen and a sun hat in a small backpack.

  • If you start going for longer walks regularly, you may want to invest in a waterproof jacket and some specialist walking shoes for more challenging routes.

How do I know if I'm walking fast enough?

A brisk walk is about 3 miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll. You can tell you're walking briskly if you can still talk but cannot sing the words to a song.

You could also try using an app on your smartphone to track when you're walking fast enough and suggests ways to fit in some more brisk walking. Try the Active 10 app developed by Public Health England.

Download the Active 10 app from the App Store

Download the Active 10 app from Google Play

There are also lots of 'exercise' apps available that can track your statistics, map your route and track your journey. Strava is a great app with lots of tracking options available within the free version. It's aimed at runners and cyclists but it also has a 'walk' option.

The British Heart Foundation have also compiled a list of 11 FREE walking apps.

Download a walking app to track your statistics
Download a walking app to track your statistics

What if I'm not very active?

If you're not very active but are able to walk, increase your walking distance gradually. If your joints are a problem, check whether the local swimming pool holds exercise classes. The water helps to support your joints while you move and can help you strengthen your muscles.

If you're not active because of a medical condition, get advice on exercising with a disability.

If you cannot leave the house, consider online exercise classes or watch online videos such as the free exercise videos on the NHS website.

Make it a habit

The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Think of ways to include walking in your daily routine. Examples include:

  • walking part of your journey to work

  • walking to the shops

  • using the stairs instead of the lift

  • leaving the car behind for short journeys

  • walking the kids to school

  • doing a regular walk with a friend

  • going for a stroll with family or friends

Listen to music

Walking while listening to music or a podcast can take your mind off the effort. It can also get you into a rhythm and help you walk faster. You'll be surprised at how fast the time goes when you're walking to your favourite tunes.

Walk whilst listening to music or podcasts
Walk whilst listening to music or podcasts

Mix it up

Add variety to your walks. There are heaps of interesting walks here in Guernsey, including cliff paths, parks, heritage trails, commons, historical routes and nature reserves.

Check out the list of walking routes at Visit Guernsey.

There's also a list of fun walks to do with the family at Guernsey With Kids.

Join a walking group

Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated.

There are several walking groups and tour guides in Guernsey for people of all ages and abilities. Here's a few...

Guernsey Walking for Health Scheme run FREE half hour guided walks throughout the week.

Nordic Walking - various courses available for all levels.

Walking Football is available through the Guernsey FA. Available all year round at KGV and suitable for all ages.

Gill Girard Tour Guide - offers walking tours around Guernsey

Tour Guides - a list of Guernsey accredited guides offering walking tours.

Club Bon Amis - walking club for the over 50s.

Online Resources & Walking Programmes

There are many free walking programmes available online. Most include a walking schedule of between 8 - 12 weeks, aimed at increasing your endurance level each week. Here's a few:

Mayo Clinic - 12 week programme

American Heart Association - 6 week beginner walking plan

Walking for Weight Loss & Fitness - lots of useful tips, ideas and inspirations.

31 views0 comments