Walking is a great way to get in shape and aid weight loss.
There is no need for a gym, trainer or fancy equipment. No matter what your
fitness level is, you can get out there and get moving. Look around you, there
will be many places on your doorstep that will provide some great walks, try
the park, local nature reserve, coastal areas, stately homes or castle grounds
or just around the area where you live. And this is an exercise you can enjoy
all year round, although most people would prefer the dryer months, but with
the right gear, there’ll be no stopping you.

Walking doesn’t have to be an isolating experience; you
could join a walking club or start your own group with a circle of friends.
Take precautions to make your walk safe (see below) and you should enjoy a
trouble-free walk.

Walking should go hand-in-hand with a healthy eating
lifestyle; overeating or a poor diet will undo all of your hard work. If weight
loss is your goal you need to maintain a sensible diet consisting of a good
balance of fresh low calorie foods. Weight loss is only achieved by consuming
fewer calories than you expend.

According to the NHS walking can lower the risk of heart
disease, asthma, strokes and some cancers and chronic diseases. Other health
benefits include weight loss and it improves glycaemic control, walking also reduces
stress and boosts your immunity.

To really enjoy your walk, if you don’t already have this, invest in a good pair of walking
shoes or runners and wear the appropriate outer wear for the weather, rain macs
and sportswear have become increasing more affordable, particularly with the
rise of sports factory shops and outlet stores. When investing in new trainers
or walking shoes, it is worth having your feet measured and get advice from the
staff in store. Good footwear will help keep your feet healthy and
blister-free. Remember to stay hydrated on your walk, carry a bottle of water
and a healthy snack if you are walking for a considerable distance.

Start off slow and pace yourself, don’t plan to speed walk
10 miles on day one; set yourself a reasonable goal particularly if you have
been inactive for a while. A one-to-four mile moderately paced walk might be
more than enough to start with. And remember it’s always a good idea to visit
your doctor to get a ‘clean bill of health’ before commencing physical
activity, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or take
regular medication.

There are plenty of opportunities for you to fit walking
into your lifestyle – walk to work or get off the bus a few stops early and
walk the rest of the way; take a walk during your lunch break; walk to the
shops and leave the car at home; or organise some long walks with family or
friends at the end of the day. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, take 30
minutes out of your busy schedule and discover how enjoyable a good walk can
be.

Do you need some tips to help you stay safe on your walks read this post?