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Walk your way to a healthier, happier lifestyle this National Walking Month

PUBLISHED: 16:27 07 April 2011 | UPDATED: 10:32 21 February 2013

Walk your way to a healthier, happier lifestyle this National Walking Month

Walk your way to a healthier, happier lifestyle this National Walking Month

This May, two national walking organisations are teaming up to urge people across the UK to leave their cars at home and take to the streets as part of the first National Walking Month...

This May, two national walking organisations are teaming up to urge people across the UK to leave their cars at home and take to the streets as part of the first National Walking Month.

Walking is the cheapest, simplest and one of the most effective forms of exercise that a person can do. Walking for just half an hour each morning can transform your fitness levels, reduce stress and anxiety, and vastly improve your concentration levels for the day ahead. It's easy, it's affordable and it works.

However, these benefits seem to be ignored or unappreciated by many. Only 11% of commuters walk to work, with a large majority using their cars instead. A quarter of the population admit that they walk for 20 minutes less than once a year. And over the past couple of decades, the number of children walking to school has fallen sharply. 43% of children are now driven to school despite the fact that the majority of primary school children live within a mile and a half of their school.

Almost a quarter (23%) of the UK's population is already classified as obese. By 2050, this could rise to nearly 60% and cause an economic and health disaster.

Living Streets and Walk England are joining forces to promote walking and help people get out and about on foot. Throughout National Walking Month, different activities will be led by the partners with the aim of getting the nation walking.

Living Streets, the national charity that works to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, will be encouraging people to walk with their successful annual initiatives, Walk to Work Week (09 - 13 May) and Walk to School Week (16 - 20 May). Everyone can create their own, personal walking log and parents can find helpful ideas to encourage their children to walk at www.livingstreets.org.uk.

Walk England, a social enterprise helping communities develop and deliver walking projects locally, will, on behalf of Transport for London, be running another of their free walking weekends with their Walk London project (28 - 29th May) and encouraging people to record their walking activity on their popular www.Walk4Life.info site during the month to help raise money for charity.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets said:

"Getting fit and active doesn't have to mean costly gym sessions, or marathon running attempts - there is a free and easy way to work more exercise into your daily routine, and it is often overlooked - give yourself a daily dose of walking.

"The benefits of walking more are huge and not only for your health. Walking can provide time to plan for the day ahead, or to unwind after it. It can be as simple as walking all or part of the journey to school, stepping out of the office for a lunchtime walk, or getting off the bus a few stops earlier on your way home from the office."

Walk your way to a healthier, happier lifestyle this National Walking Month.

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