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We are Engage• 3 Min read

24th May 2022

Stay active and get walking this National Walking Month

May is National Walking Month, a whole month dedicated to encouraging you to walk for at least 20 minutes everyday.

The aim is to encourage people to become more active and experience the benefits of walking. Walking is a great way to improve your physical and mental health, it offers a number of benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. Walking is a great way to:

  • Strengthen your heart: Walking for at least 20 minutes a day strengthens your heart and in turn reduces your risk of developing a heart condition or getting a stroke. 
  • Maintain or lose weight: Walking is a great way to burn calories. Different factors such as your walking speed and distance covered has a big effect on the amount of calories burnt. 
  • Improve your mental health: Studies have shown that walking can help to reduce anxiety, depression and a negative mood. It also helps to keep you energised as it boosts your circulation and increases the oxygen supply around your body. 

TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED

Here are some tips to help you get started and plan your walks in a safe way:

  1. Plan your route: As much fun as it is to go exploring, it’s important to know your route to find your closest rest stop and see what there is to do in that area.
  2. Walk in areas designated for pedestrians: Try to walk in well-lit areas and footpaths.
  3. Wear the right footwear: Wearing suitable shoes is essential when going on walks. Ensure that your shoes are sturdy with a good heel and arch support.
  4. Bring snacks and water: It is important to bring snacks and water with you to stay energised and hydrated whilst on a longer walk.
  5. Take your time: It’s easy to want to rush but try to take it slow and enjoy your surroundings. 

ENCOURAGING YOUR STUDENTS TO WALK

Students who engage in some form of exercise in the morning, especially a walk before school, arrive at school refreshed and ready to learn. Not only does it benefit the students but also in turn has a positive effect on the community and environment, reducing congestion and air pollution. We have listed a few ways you can encourage your students to walk to school: 

  • Give them something to walk for: Young students can get badges or awards if they walk to school. Overtime, the more often they walk to school in a week, the better the reward. This will motivate the students to walk to school and will in turn make them push themselves to walk further each time. 
  • Make it sound fun: Instead of telling your students to go for a walk, using statements such as “Go explore your local forest” can change their attitude.
  • Set them a challenge: Children love having their efforts recognised so signing them up for a challenge and giving them a prize at the end is a good incentive to get them walking. 

Make the most out of this month and motivate yourself and your students to get walking, and most importantly to stick at it!

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