The Benefits of Walking

If you're keen to ramp up the time you spend exercising, walking is one of the simplest ways to help you lose weight and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Best of all, it won't cost you a penny!
Whatever your current fitness level, walking is ideal for those of you who'd like to be more active, with this oft-overlooked form of exercise shown to reduce the risk of a variety of debilitating diseases.
Here are a few other things that you may or may not know about walking ...

Did You Know?

  • Walking a mile burns as many calories as running a mile, it just takes longer
  • Although over 40% of journeys are less than two miles, only 10% of them are made by walking or cycling
  • Race walkers can cover a mile in just over five minutes, and a full marathon in around three hours

Walk the Walk

To make sure you're prepared for all walking eventualities, follow our top tips below ...

Layer Clothing

Layering clothing will keep you warm at the start of the session. Then, as your temperature increases, outer layers should be removed before the under layers become wet from perspiration.
On cold days, start with a thin layer of 'thermal' fabric (that traps warm air but releases moisture) next to the skin, followed by a warm synthetic, such as a sweatshirt or fleece. Clothing should allow perspiration to escape, so they need to be non-absorbent and dry quickly.

Beware of the Chill

Gloves and a hat are advisable if the weather is very cold, as a lot of heat is lost through the hands and head. In wet weather, you will chill very quickly unless you protect yourself from the rain, so a waterproof outer layer is advisable.

Appropriate Footwear

A walking shoe need not absorb as much force as a running shoe, so should have a slightly lower heel, as a higher one will cause the toe to 'slap' down, possibly causing shin soreness. It should be flexible in the forefoot to allow the forward roll of the foot from heel to toe.


Socks are also an important item of footwear and should always be worn to prevent chafing and to absorb perspiration. Socks should be seam free and should fit well. A cotton or wool mix is usually most comfortable and more absorbent.
For more information about fun ways to keep fit, be sure to check out the rest of our Expert Zone, which is jam-packed with useful tips on how to get the most from any exercise routine.

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