Walking to work is a great way to get more physical activity into your day but with long commutes for many of us, is it something you can integrate into your working day?

May is National Walking Month and so we’re challenging you to walk to work for all or part of your commute.

More than great exercise

Walking to work will make you feel less stressed (if you’ve planned the time and route that is!).  A study from researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research found that people who switched their modes of commute from driving to walking or cycling experienced greater well-being, specifically a greater ability to concentrate and feeling less under strain.

Here are some ideas for you to get those steps in during National Walking Month: 

  • Why not aim for a minimum 15-minute walk each way? If you take the train or the tube, try walking to a further stop before jumping on board.  Or get off a stop early and walk the rest of the distance to work.
  • If your commute is too long, make it a walking lunch instead. Get colleagues on board too and start a walking lunch club.
  • If your working day is too hectic, why not build in an after-dinner evening stroll now that that the evenings are lighter?

Walk for wellbeing

Walking for 30-60 minutes a day reduced your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

If you walk at a leisurely pace, this reduces the amount of time spent sitting at a desk which has got to be good.

But if you can up the pace to a brisk walk for 30 minutes per day, you’ll be getting the recommended amount of moderate physical exercise each day.

Plan ahead

Perhaps your sports shoes aren’t office attire but plan ahead and put your work shoes in your bag, ready to change into as soon as you get to the office.

The UK weather isn’t to be relied upon (even in May) so make sure you have a rain proof jacket to pack in your bag too.

And plan your route and timings.  Walking will mean that you might need to catch an earlier bus or train so plan your walk so that you know how long it will take.  No excuses!

The 10,000 Steps target

The goal of 10,000 steps is often hard to hit but not during National Walking Month.  Track your progress on a pedometer or use a health app on your phone to track your steps.  Hitting the target is great motivation to carry on throughout the month and beyond.

What can you do to increase your steps and get you in the right frame of mind for the working day?  Is walking an option?  We’d love to know if you’re embracing National Walking Month as part of your working day.