Thanks to several lockdowns, some of us clocked more steps than we could imagine (even if we only wandered a few kilometres from home).
With life kind of back to normal and routines readjusted, it’s not surprising if you’ve found yourself in an exercise drought. Life is busy!
But it’s time to hit the pavement again and reap the health benefits of walking. Think improved mental health, increased energy levels, reduced waist circumference and body fat, stronger bones, and a decreased risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Now, researchers have discovered more reasons why regular exercise, such as walking, is good for you. From their findings, those who exercised 150 minutes a week had a lower risk of getting infected and hospitalised, developing severe illness and dying from COVID-19 compared to those not physically active.
It’s a reminder that regular exercise is an important part of staying healthy. And walking is free!
When it comes to COVID-19, exercise isn’t the only way to reduce your risk of severe illness or hospitalisation. Vaccination remains your best protection. Stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination. Use the Vaccine Clinic Finder to book your appointment.
How much walking is good for your health?
The recommended amount of exercise you should do a week is 150 to 300 minutes.
Make your goal to walk at least 30 minutes every day of the week at a moderate pace (when your heart rate raises but you’re not too breathless).
If you don’t have 30 minutes or more to spare, no worries. Every bit of walking you do counts. Ideas to add extra steps to your day could include walking to the station or the kids to school and going for a walk in your lunch break.
Walk for charity
Boost your motivation and join one of these charity initiatives.
- Get your pedometer ready if you want to join Stepember. It’s an initiative to raise money in support of people living with cerebral palsy. The aim is to take 10,000 steps a day from 1–30 September 2022.
- Fire up your passion for fitness and take the Bloody Long Walk. A 35km walking challenge held in different locations that raises money to find a cure for mitochondrial disease.
- Is cycling more your thing? Jump on a bike during September 2022 for Cancer Council’s Ride500. Become fitter and healthier and raise money for cancer research.
- From 1–31 October 2022, take your red socks for a walk or run and support Australians affected by kidney disease.
- For those who can get to Sydney or live there, give the 5.9km Wellness Walk a go. On Sunday, 9 October 2022, walk across the Harbour Bridge in support of mental health.
For more information
- If you haven’t exercised for a while, been injured or had a serious illness, see a doctor for advice.
- Learn about becoming active.
Want more like this?
For health and wellbeing news you can use, go to the healthdirect blog.