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Walking is easy to do, and offers wonderful health benefits for young and old.
One of the biggest steps forward for health is also one of the simplest ones — daily walking. It is an inexpensive form of exercise, as all you need is a pair of walking shoes.
Walking is a good starting point for
sedentary individuals to gradually increase physical activity. Not only is it a low-impact exercise suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, it is convenient and accessible to everyone. You can easily weave walking, a regular physical activity that is recommended by HPB, into your daily life.
10,000 steps has been suggested as a daily goal, which adds up to about eight kilometres — a number that is commonly associated with a basic level of fitness.
Another way of looking at it is as a guideline of
150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity a week, with each bout of activity lasting at least 10 minutes. The idea is to make daily physical activity a habit and part of your lifestyle.
On the other hand, being sedentary and sitting for too long can increase your risk of all sorts of health problems, including
type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. For instance, sitting for over eight hours a day can lead to a 90% increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Related: Burn Calories With Every Step
You can use a
smartphone activity app, a wearable fitness tracker or a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you have taken.
While it is recommended to aim for 10,000 steps daily, any increase in physical activity is good for your health, particularly for people who are used to being inactive.
Walking, like dancing, cycling, jogging, swimming and playing basketball, is an aerobic activity that makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. As a result, it will increase heart and lung, or cardiorespiratory fitness.
Besides being good for your general fitness, walking has other health benefits that include the following:
Make walking a daily habit. Try breaking it up into several short walks a day so that it doesn’t seem so daunting. For instance, you can take the stairs instead of the lift, or give your legs a stretch with a jaunt to your favourite lunch spot instead of driving or taking public transport, and enjoy an evening stroll in the park with your family after dinner.
To make it easy to start walking and to keep at it, try the following tips:
Remember that the journey of 10,000 steps begins with a single step. What are you waiting for?
Why not sign up for the
National Steps Challenge™ to get your feet moving and your adrenaline going? More information is available at
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This article was last reviewed on
Monday, July 5, 2021
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Kickstart your healthy habits today with good hygiene practices, an active lifestyle, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep.
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