Improves your physical health
Walking helps keep your body healthy by managing a healthy weight and strengthening muscles. Any amount of physical activity, however small, is good for you. Gentle exercise such as walking can be hugely beneficial.
Benefits your mental health
Walking can really benefit your mental health, particularly in local greenspaces such as parks and woodlands. Being active can help to enhance your mood, wellbeing and energy levels by helping to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Walking with others has social and wellbeing benefits while enhancing your connection with your local area. It also supports older adults to be active and reduce isolation or loneliness.
Save money while being green
It's free, with no special equipment required and reduces your carbon footprint.
Travelling safely by walking during Covid-19
If you do need to travel, try to walk, wheel or cycle where possible. The Way to Work Scotland website has lots of resources available to help you travel actively.
"I increased the amount of walking I did in my personal life to help maintain a healthy balance"- Ailish (D&G resident)
Here are some ideas to get you going...
- How can you incorporate more walking into your everyday life? Consider walking all or part of the way to work, walking your kids to school, walking a dog or walking to visit nearby friends and family.
- Start small. Walk for 15 minutes twice a day and build up from there.
- Walk with others.Try going for walks with your friend, partner or kids.Walking with others will help you stay motivated to continue.
- Take part in a Health Walk. These walks are volunteer led, free, sociable and open to all.
- Join a local walking group. Dumfries Ramblers have an extensive programme of led walks throughout the Dumfries and Galloway region as well as further afield in Ayrshire, the Borders and Cumbria.
- Walk Once a Week (WOW) is a Living Streets programme run in D&G in partnership with Sustrans I Bike. Participating primary schools set up a travel tracker where pupils record each day how they travel to school. Pupils who walk once a week, or more, are awarded a badge for each month. If your school doesn't yet take part, you can recommend them here.
- Living Streets has put together 20 top tips to help you fit 20 minutes of walking into your day. Check out their #Try20 tips
- If you're walking more than 2 miles a day, it's worth investing in comfortable, practical and well-fitting walking clothes, such as;
- A good pair of walking shoes
- A waterproof or umbrella to keep in your bag
- Plan your route using Google Maps or follow one of the Rambler's Medal Routes
More useful information
Many organisations in Scotland promote walking for health and travel, all offering lots of help, support and guidance;
- Sustrans Scotland is the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle.
- Living Streets is the UK charity for everyday walking.