If there is one thing that can make a difference to your daily health and wellbeing it’s taking a walk

It seems such a small thing to do but at the same time it can help us both mentally and physically to feel better. May is National Walking Month and we wanted to highlight the benefits of walking and why it might be the one small thing you do for yourself today that makes a huge difference.

If you are new to walking for fun, you may be apprehensive about getting started. The best thing about walking is that it is one of the easiest and most accessible methods of moving more. And it’s completely free.

Before you start make sure that you have some comfortable shoes on. You don’t want to get a blister. Your usual clothes will be fine, but you may want to layer up, because once you get going you may work up a sweat. And you may want to take a bottle of water.

If you class yourself as inactive start slowly and build up. You are in charge of how long and how far you go. The important thing is to start.

The thing that will make the biggest difference is if walking becomes part of your daily routines and habits. If you include these small changes and do them regularly you will move more without thinking. It might be that after dinner in the coming summer evenings you replace sitting watching the TV for a stroll with a family member or friend. Other things you could try are.

  • Walking part of your journey to work.
  • Walking to the shops.
  • Using the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Leaving the car behind for short journeys.
  • Walking the kids to school.
  • Arranging a regular walk with a friend
  • Of course, if you have a dog, make it your job to walk them.

Enjoy the walk.

If you can get into some green. Getting into nature helps to calm us and manage our stress levels. Being mindful in your walk will help you to make the most of the moment. If you enjoy the walk and it helps you feel relaxed, you are more likely to do it again.

More importantly, plants give off chemicals called phytoncides, which help the plant to protect itself. When humans breathe in phytoncides they help us too.

  • They help our immune system
  • Have anti-inflammation effects
  • They relax us
  • Have anti-depressive effects.
  • They help us sleep
  • And can reduce blood glucose.

For more information on the benefits of getting into green spaces and phytoncides we recommend reading Forest Bathing Central. 

You might want to listen to the sounds of nature around you or you may want to listen to music as you go. You may want to walk alone, or you may want to walk with others. It’s up to you. What ever is going to make the experience work for you.

Feel Good Suffolk work in partnership with the Ramblers UK to provide a range of Wellbeing Walks around the county. So, if you want to join a group and meet people there are many walks for you to take a look at on the Suffolk Ramblers website.

You could also walk a ‘parkrun’ at your local park or take a look at the Discover Suffolk Website to take a look at other walking routes.

If you need any further encouragement, we’ll leave you with the words of Atticus.

“Walk towards the good things in life and one day you will arrive”.


Author: Julie Chapman | Feel Good Suffolk