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What are the benefits of walking to work?

Walk to Work Week 2015 - Chapterthirty

This week is Walk to Work Week 2015. The scheme is designed to encourage more people to pound those pavements and get their hearts working and blood pumping, even if it’s just for a week. There are obvious health benefits to taking to the streets rather than being cramped onto the tube or sat in traffic. Living Streets says that walking 1 mile can burn up to 100 calories and walking just 2 miles a day, 3 times a week, can help to reduce your weight by 1lb every 3 weeks. Being more active can reduce the likelihood of you becoming obese or getting diabetes or heart disease.

The Department for Health suggests that adults should be active every day and that each week you should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. A brisk walk to work could save you money on gym membership and on travel costs. It’s a win win situation.

Walking isn’t just good for your health

Fancy arriving at work energised and ready for the day ahead rather than stressed out and fed up? The International Charter for Walking, Walk 21 states: “The more a person walks the better they feel, the more relaxed they become, the more they sense and the less mental clutter they accumulate.” Walking home again can also help you to work off some of the stresses of the day and arrive home feeling more relaxed.

Another of the benefits of walking to work is that you get to live life in the slow lane and actually take in your surroundings. Last year I had to go to London for a course and instead of taking the bus or underground and cutting my journey in half I decided to walk. Granted, I’m not in London every day but I still think that you can always stop to appreciate a city even if you’ve seen it a million times.

Benefits of walking to work - Chapterthirty

Compromise

I do realise it might not be feasible to walk all the way to work, depending on your commute, but you could get off the bus or tube a few stops earlier or perhaps park a little further away. You could also compromise and walk one way. I’m not a morning person so when I was working at the Parliament of Victoria I would get the tram across the city centre in the morning and walk home. Plus it meant I got to browse in Melbourne’s shops on the way back. Always a bonus but one of the main reasons my wages didn’t go very far. Ooops. On the way home you might be less likely to be rushing: on a nice day I certainly enjoy taking a little detour and strolling home rather than walking back the same way I normally go.

Folkestone Step Short Arch and poppies - Chapterthirty

So, it’s good for your health, good for your mind and helps you arrive to work raring to go. Are you tempted to don your trainers and walk to work?

Let’s do it!

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