Did you know that May is National Walking Month? Here at The Lily Foundation we love any excuse to get out and about, so we've put together five great reasons to lace on your walking shoes.
1. Walking is easy – and free!
There's no easier way to get active than simply going for a walk. You can do it anywhere at any time – all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes. Best of all, walking doesn't require a particularly high level of personal fitness. Even if you're not used to walking long distances you can start off with a short stroll, and then gradually work up to longer walks as your fitness improves.
2. Walking lifts your mood
Like any physical exercise, walking releases endorphins which improve your mood and can help reduce stress and anxiety. Just being outdoors in the fresh air and getting a change of scene can have a positive impact on mental health. If you're feeling down or struggling with a problem in life or work, a good walk is an effective way to clear the mind and get a fresh perspective.
3. Walking is sociable
If you're feeling isolated or lonely, walking is a brilliant way to meet other people. Whether you join a walking group, go for a stroll with family and friends of simply exchange greetings with a neighbour in the street, walking gets you connected. You could even suggest holding a 'walking meeting' in your workplace. It's far more fun than sitting around a desk, and often more productive too!
4. Walking gets you fit
Regular, brisk walking has been shown to improve our physical health. It exercises the heart and lungs, improving their performance over time. Walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a good way to burn calories and can help with weight management. Walking can also improve sleep and increase the flexibility and strength of our bones, muscles and joints.
5. Walking is good for the environment
Walking instead of taking the car or bus is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment. Many short car journeys – for instance to school or the local shops – are easily walkable. You'll save on fuel costs, cut down on pollution and enjoy some fresh air and exercise at the same time. What's not to like?
Need some extra motivation?
Why not join our Around The World for Mito challenge and make your walk for a good cause? Once you register online, every sponsored kilometre you walk will be added to our target figure of 40,075 kilometres – the circumference of the world! Help us to reach our target and be part of a global campaign to beat mitochondrial disease. Click here for details.