Put a spring in your step

It's time to get those walking shoes dusted off and put a spring in your step as we enter the joys of Spring and with it National Walk to Work Day on 7th April.

NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging Northamptonshire residents to be mindful of their health and embrace exercise by walking to work, or by parking the car further away from the office to get a good brisk walk to and from work.

The positives of walking are that it's one of the easiest forms of exercise you can do, and it's free! Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.*  The best way to get into walking, like anything, is begin slowly and increase your steps daily.  Most of us walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day on average, so why not set yourself a challenge of 10,000.

Health Walks are free, easier walks led by trained volunteers as a group to help you get started. You can find your nearest health walks at www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder

For details of local walks in your area or to download local maps visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/walking

Nordic Walking uses walking poles and burns up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking. You can find a local course at www.northamptonshiresport.org/nordic/nordic-walking-courses

Dr Emma Clancy, Clinical Executive Director for Acute Trust South, at NHS Nene CCG, said:

“Through National Walk to Work Day we hope to show adults how easy, enjoyable and rewarding walking is and how it can lead to real changes in people's habits and lifestyles.  There are plenty of opportunities and challenges around locally to highlight the importance of physical activity and what benefits this has on people's health.

“Walking can be fitted into your daily routine: you can do it any time, anywhere. You don't need any equipment and you already know how to do it. Best of all, it's free. Regular walking can also help you deal with anxiety and stress, improve sleep and improve your general mental well-being.”