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 a targeted distance in addition to your day to day activities 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 as a form of active commuting, 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. The National Physical Activity guideline recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week. For individuals looking to kickstart your fitness journey, aim to set aside 30 minutes for a short bout of physical activity daily.
Sedentary behaviour has adverse impact on your health as it 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. Hence it is important to break up prolonged sitting with movement breaks.
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.
Aerobic exercise otherwise termed as 'cardio' is sustained physical activity that increases the heart rate and the body's use of oxygen. Engaging in aerobic exercises improves the ability of the heart, lungs and vascular system to deliver oxygen to working muscles. Aerobic exercises ranging from low to high intensity are: brisk walking, leisure cycling, swimming, jogging and playing basketball.
Make walking a daily habit. Try breaking it up into several short walks a day. 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
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
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