Being physically active isn’t just good for your heart: there is lots of evidence that it can also reduce the risk of developing breast, bowel or womb cancer. Keeping active could help to prevent around 3,400 cases of cancer every year in the UK. And walking is probably the easiest way to start being more active.
Walking is the perfect stress reliever
As well as a ton of physical benefits, being physically active could help with your mental health and wellbeing too. Some fresh air and a change of environment can sometimes be just what you need to relieve the stresses of the day. And getting in that extra bit of exercise is likely to put you in a better mood, and will probably help you sleep well too.
Walking can help maintain a healthy body weight
Walking regularly can also help you to keep a healthy body weight, which can help you reduce the risk of 13 different types of cancer. Obesity is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, so small changes that you can stick with can make a big difference.
An average 30 year old weighing 10 stone burns around 410 calories with 10,000 steps of brisk walking.
What the week should look like – physical guidelines
An adult should aim to do around two and a half hours of moderate activity every week but you don’t need to do this all in one go, how about trying thirty minutes a day for five days? Moderate activity consists of anything that gets you a bit warmer and slightly out of breath, so walking is a brilliant way to kick start your fitness game.
Make walking a habit
One of the most common reasons we don’t exercise is difficulty finding the time, so the best thing to do is build activity into your everyday life. Whether it’s walking the children to school, walking to the shops, or taking your (or a friend’s) dog to the park, everyday changes can help you and your family to stay healthy. You might want to start with an achievable goal and build on it, even ten minutes at a time can help, such as walking up the stairs instead of taking an escalator.
How to know if you’ve walked 10,000 steps
All you need is a pedometer that will count your steps for you. Your phone will have lots of free apps to track your steps each day or you can buy one from your local pharmacist or running shop.
Want to get fit and feel amazing this June? Sign up to Cancer Research UK’s Walk All Over Cancer 10,000 steps a day challenge www.cruk.org/walkallover
Based on the average person’s stride, you’ll have covered 150 miles by the end of the month – about the distance from London to Manchester!