With the festive season approaching, there’s never been a better time to put on your walking shoes and go for a walk.
Recent research shows the benefits of walking are extensive. Not only does it increase your physical health and mental fitness, there are also positive impacts on the economy and environment.
Walking is free and easy
Walking is accessible to most people – and research shows one in six trips in Victoria are on foot, with over one million Victorians walking each year.
In terms of weekday walking – we make 2.36 million trips on our feet, whereas we make 1.61 million trips on public transport, making walking the most popular recreational activity in Victoria – and Australia.
We all know that the World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week for adults. And walking for 30 minutes each day is a great way to meet this target.
I enjoy walking in my local area, and taking my grandchild for a walk – with her in the stroller - we venture in a slower paced world with time to explore the sights and sounds of our local parks. We meet other walkers, their animals, and get to know our area and our community – I’ve seen the increase in confidence and social skill development over our walks. And I see the smiles of the other walkers we meet – we’re all enjoying the outdoors.
Walking is great for your health
Walking doesn’t only increase your social life, it can also reduce the number of people who fracture their hip. Aerobic activity like this can improve fitness and reduce fatigue, and prevent common conditions like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
So why not put on your walking shoes and take a stroll this festive season - your mind and body will thank you for it.
Read about hiking for health
Commissioner for Senior Victorians
Gerard Mansour is a passionate advocate for the rights and needs of older Victorians, with more than 25 years’ experience working in the aged and wider community service sectors. He has contributed significantly to policy development and implementation of services assisting senior Victorians.