On the first Wednesday of April put on your most comfortable shoes and go out to celebrate National Walking Day. This day encourages people to be healthy and reminds them that just thirty minutes of walking every day can have a great impact on their overall health, and help prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. So ask a friend to keep you company or put a podcast on, and get to stretching those legs and improving your mood.
History of National Walking Day
National Walking Day was established in 2007 by the American Heart Association, to promote a healthy lifestyle and get people moving. Most people don't realize just how beneficial daily walks can be for their overall emotional and physical health and well-being, so this day serves as a reminder of just how important it is to stay active and get off the sofa.
Walking doesn't have to be a chore either. You can invite someone to join you, call a friend you haven't talked to in a while, and catch up with what's happening with them, or put your headphones in and enjoy your favorite podcast or playlist. In no time at all, you'll see you've already walked for the recommended 30 minutes, or even longer! It is also a great way to get to know your neighborhood better, or, if you prefer to walk in nature, it's 30 minutes you get to yourself to relax and disconnect from the stress of daily life.
Above all, walking is one of the exercises that have more overall benefits for your health. Here are some ways in which walking is good for your health:
It reduces stress and improves your sleep. Walking is a great way to clear your head, and it is proven that exercise drastically improves people's mental health. Studies have also shown that people who walk regularly are less likely to have insomnia, and tend to sleep better than those who don't.
It increases bone strength. Walking can increase bone mass, and therefore is very beneficial for those who are prone to arthritis. People who walk often are also less likely to suffer fractures.
It improves circulation. Perhaps one of the best impacts that walking has on our health. Walking improves circulation and gets the blood flowing. This means that it reduces blood pressure and the risk of suffering a stroke.
It helps with weight loss. Walking is a form of exercise, therefore it burns calories, which is a great help for those trying to lose weight.
Let's go hiking!
With some beautiful places to visit, hiking is a great way to explore and see more of the world. Here are some of the exceptional places you can visit while walking:
The Appalachian Trail
If you happen to live in or be visiting the east side of America then you are lucky enough to be able to explore part of the Appalachian Trail. The trail runs along the Appalachian mountain range from the northernmost point of Mount Katahdin in Maine to the southernmost point of Springer Mountain in Georgia.
At over 2,190 miles long, it is the long hiking-only trail in America.
It is visited by approximately 3,000,000 people every year.
Only a quarter of people who attempt to walk the whole route succeed, with most people giving up before the end.
Those who do succeed in walking it end to end will spend over 5 months on the trail.
The Pennine Way
The Pennine Way is the oldest, and perhaps the most famous National Trail in the UK. It runs from the northernmost point of Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders to Edale in the Peak District. It was officially opened in 1965 after taking inspiration from the success of The Appalachian Trail in America.
The trail is 268 miles long.
The fastest-known completion time was in 2021 with an incredible finishing time of 58 hours and 4 minutes.
Most people complete the trail within 16 to 19 days.
A day to walk
This is the perfect day to start a walking routine. Like with every form of exercise, the hardest part is starting. But if you make an effort to walk every day, you'll see you'll enjoy it and even crave it, and as a bonus, you'll improve your mood and health.
Here are some ways to help you start walking more regularly:
Park further away than you would usually. Whether you're going shopping, eating out, or just going to work, parking a bit further away from your destination is a great way to get your steps in. You can also do it if you use public transportation. Just get off one or two stops earlier than your usual stop.
Instead of catching up with your friends over a coffee or a drink, invite them to join you for a stroll in the park.
This is a hard one, but try to skip the elevator for the stairs.
If you live close to the center of your town, leave the car at home and do your errands on foot.
Encourage your family to start walking as well by taking a family stroll after dinner instead of sitting in front of the TV.