Guest blog by Jayne Phenton, Media Co-ordinator for Living Streets @livingstreets
Last weekend I visited Wiltshire and walked seven or so miles up to Bratton Camp and back.
The landlady of the B&B where I was staying was shocked. ‘You must be very fit’, she said. ‘Jayne walks to work every day’, said my friend. Her jaw dropped further. ‘It’s less than two and quarter miles’, I reassured her.
‘I’m the sort of person who parks right outside the shop’, said Mrs Fawlty, looking shame-faced. I suggested she might give walking a go during Walk to Work Week,13-17 May, which is part of National Walking Month run by Living Streets.
I’m fortunate to live a 40 minute walk away from the Living Streets office in London and especially so because my commute takes me across the River Thames and past historic sites like the Tower of London.
But whatever your route, a brisk walk to work is a great opportunity to clear your head, and prepare for your day. Walking is great for your health in every kind of way. It’s a valuable weight bearing exercise, an excellent work out for your heart, proven to be good for your mental wellbeing and you’re strengthening 200 muscles with minimal impact on your joints.
If you do want to lose a pound or two then building some walking into your day is going to help. Just half an hour’s walk to work and home again could use up to 250 calories. Sign up on Living Streets’ website www.walktowork.org.uk and you can log your walks, see how many muffins you’ve burned off and compete with your colleagues to see who can be top walker.
The average commute to work is just under nine miles so many of us will rely on some kind of transport, but you can still fit some walking into your journey. Getting off at an earlier bus stop, altering your route or walking to the station all add up. If you need extra motivation, then try challenging colleagues at work or sign up your workplace to see how far up the leader board you can get in your area. There are some fabulous prizes to be won too.
But the best prize is that, over time, even a small number of steps add up to miles and muffins and before you know it you’ve walked the equivalent of up Bratton Camp and down again.