When we think of fitness, we often think of going hard in the gym and the dreaded cardio (shudder). But the truth is, fitness comes in many forms, and it IS possible to have a successful fitness regime while taking part in lower impact forms of exercise such as walking.

Walking is a great form of exercise as it’s free and accessible to most people. A nice brisk walk on a regular basis can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier. If you don’t have much spare time on your hands, then don’t worry. Walking for hours and hours to reap benefits is not required. Just a brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. For reference, a brisk walk is about 3 miles an hour and you can tell when you’re walking briskly if you can still talk but struggle to sing!

If you’re new to walking as a form of exercise, an important thing to note is that sufficient footwear is vital in ensuring you don’t get any nasty blisters and that you don’t do any damage to your feet. Any shoes or trainers that are comfortable, provide adequate support and do not cause blisters will do just fine. For longer walks or hikes, you may want to invest in some walking shoes to help you tackle more challenging routes.

As we head into March, springtime is on the horizon and warmer days are on their way (finally!). Getting out and about for a nice walk is much easier when the weather is nice and there are plenty of scenic walking routes tucked away in and around Stockport. SMBC have highlighted some lovely local spots on their website. Don’t forget to take some water with you as keeping hydrated is extremely important, especially in warmer weather.

As mentioned earlier, walking is accessible to most people and makes a great form of low impact exercise for those who can’t quite handle the intensity of a fitness class. If you’re not currently very active and are looking to build your activity levels, start off on smaller walks and gradually increase your distance.

Here at Life Leisure, we strongly believe exercise is for all ages, abilities and walks of life. If walking is a struggle for you due to joint problems, another great alternative is swimming. The water helps to support your joints while you move and can help you strengthen your muscles. You can view all of our available swimming sessions on our website. If you’re not currently active because of a medical condition, please seek advice from your GP and check if your eligible for our Paris scheme. If you cannot leave the house, we also have a range of low impact seated and standing exercise videos free to access on our YouTube channel.