Image shows a cartoon version of a green field with people scattered throughout the field. The background is a blue sky with white clouds and a large yellow sun in the top right corner. The words "National Walking Month" appear in black writing across the sky.

National Walking Month

May is National Walking Month. Here at Unitas we’re helping to spread the word about the benefits of walking and what you can do to get into step (we’re sorry, and promise no more walking related puns):

National Walking Month is Living Streets month-long celebration of walking, it’s many benefits and accessibility and what you can do.

Benefits of Walking  

By now, you’ll know that there are huge benefits to walking on a regular basis, but just in case:

  • Increased Cardiovascular and Pulmonary (i.e. heart and lung) health.
  • Reduced risk of Stroke and Heart Attack.
  • Huge positive mental health benefits.
  • Increase in muscle strength and endurance.
  • Strengthening bones and balance.

When and How

For the benefits above, you’re probably thinking we’re advocating a half-marathon or hike every day. Fear not, the brilliant thing about Living Streets’ campaign is that it’s all about how much you can manage and how you can fit regular walking into your daily life.

In terms of actual exercise, the NHS recommends one hundred and fifty minutes (two and a half hours’) exercise per week. Just walking for ten minutes a day every day could take seventy minutes off that total.

Where

Again, Living Streets are promoting walking ANYWHERE you like. Walking to work, the shops, the school run, to the pub or anywhere you like is enough. So, grab the dog, (or next doors’ dog) and get walking.

Stoke-on-Trent has some fantastic green spaces as well. There are parks, canal paths and places like Berry Hill, Park Hall, Hem Heath, Chatterley Whitfield and so much more locally.

What you’ll Need

Unlike many “sports” you don’t really need much equipment for walking (unless you’re planning on a hike, ramble or other lengthy wander), but we would always recommend that you have a drink, snacks, good shoes, sun-screen or a waterproof coat depending on when you’re walking.

If you’re looking to improve your speed or stamina, a pedometer and/or an app like Strava or Map-my-Walk can be extremely helpful.

Top Tips

  • Adding variety can ensure you don’t get bored.
  • Make walking a habit or build it into your daily routine by either putting a lunchtime walk into your daily calendar or making it a family activity after tea.
  • Join a walking group
  • Try the Living Streets 30-day challenge here
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