Funnily enough, I often consider walking to be my medicine and it’s a medicine that is a great pleasure to take. Unlike previous medicines we may have taken where, like me, you might have been told that the worse it tasted the better it was for you. This is the exact opposite because it offers so much pleasure.

In 2016, Cancer Research UK sited an article from the US National Cancer Institute which reported that higher levels of physical activity were associated with a lower risk of 13 types of cancers.

You can read about that study here.

For years in my non exhaustive list of the health benefits, I too have mentioned the effect that walking as an activity can have on prevention of many diseases, a number of cancers included.

News like this is something to be celebrated, isn’t it? I mean with so many lifestyle diseases affecting our health and mortality isn’t this just what we want to hear?

What is key though, and what was pointed out in the articles, is that a one-off walk or equivalent moderate activity is not going to make much impact! The impact will have a stronger effect if it becomes regular and is integrated into your everyday life.

So if you are not into the gym or swimming and don’t like to run, perhaps getting your activity through walking is appealing especially if it benefits your health. After all isn’t our health our wealth? Without our health what do we actually have?

As someone who is a passionate walker, I can honestly say that it is one of the easiest forms of movement to make part of everyday life. And how you get starting in walking is literally one step at a time.

Don’t overthink it, just do it and take that first short walk. From this point you can then build your walking distance, pace and level. 

You see, you don’t have to walk far, this activity is so simple and my aim for you is for it to be joyful. At the beginning just aim for 10 or 15 minutes. That can mean a walk ‘round the block’ or a walk to the corner shop or to the next bus stop as opposed to the closest one.

Starting to walk close to home or work can open up a whole journey of discovery as you find new paths, some so close that you’ll wonder how you never noticed them before. Real uncovered gems in your own neighbourhood. By being curious and following your intuition, you get to experience scenery, wildlife, architecture, cafes, gardens, parks, canals and so much more.

The most important thing you need is a pair of flat and comfortable shoes, trainers are ideal. An umbrella and/or waterproof coat or jacket is also useful, and you may want to carry a bottle of water. That’s all you have to consider.

If you find that you are not great at doing these things alone then can you find a friend to walk with? Having someone to be accountable to keeps us on track and keeps us showing up as it’s always harder to give up when someone else is waiting for you.

If you want motivation and inspiration regarding walking then do join our Facebook One Million Women Walking Community.

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