Why walk? Why move?You know it’s a problem when Edinburgh University is looking for students for a masters degree studying the physical inactivity ‘pandemic’. We are spending more and more time ‘at work’ and ‘connected’ to our digital devices. Our view of physical activity is tied to its ease to measure and promote e.g. how much we’ve burned, pressed or lost. None of this quantifies the long-term benefits of activity. Or more precisely, the time we are moving. So many chores have become just about button pushing and the considerable amounts of time which have been freed up, instead of being used to improve our mental and physical health, are crammed with more work, more meetings, more car journeys and less movement. According to the Lancet, 36% of the UK population is ‘inactive’ (doing less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week). The Lancet

Sitting still (sedentary behaviour) has serious negative effects. A person who sits in a car for 10 hours per week has an 80% higher risk of cardiovascular disease than a person who sits in a car for 4 hours a week. A 2 hour increase in TV watching per week can increase the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes by nearly 15%. Type 2 Diabetes. Immobility/inactivity also increases the chances of musculoskeletal problems e.g. back pain, and we are more stressed out than we have ever been.

⁃ Time for a major rethink.

⁃ Time to build movement back in.

⁃ Time to move. Get #walking. Walking is easy! It’s sustainable and it’s free!!

⁃ Walk to the local shops/school/work, get the bus, go out for lunch – don’t sit at your desk looking busy-it’s bad for you! A walk will refresh your mind, improve your health and increase your productivity! Change how you think about short journeys. Set off a bit early and have a wander. Think about these journeys as planning time, mental rejuvenation moments, pauses for reflection. Notice your surroundings. Persuade your boss to have #walkingmeetings. (They boost creativity!) Walk to your mates house instead of getting that taxi, bring flats to walk home from the pub! (Saved you a fiver-boom!). Go to the park with the kids, take Granny for a stroll ?, but whatever you do, please start. It will change your life! Even just one step forward is still progress.

Suggestion: My friends and I don’t get a chance to catch up mid-week so we have started ‘Dander Craic’ ? walks on Sundays, we bring a bit of a picnic and make it a fairly flexible start-time so other major commitments can still be honoured. It motivates the kids if there are other kids there and we all get to hang out and explore new vistas while catching up. Why don’t you set up your own? It’s so lovely to hear the conversations bubbling up as our glorious countryside passes by.

WHO Infographic

If you feel you need a little motivation to get started on your #walking journey, contact me, Nikki@walkifoffni.com and we will #walk together. Your Pace, Your Place, Your Time. #peoplewalker

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