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The Health Benefits of Walking for Exercise & How to Start a Walking Group

I love walking, when I worked in the City and had one of those days, I would miss my stop and double back on myself and walk home via the Thames. When I got home I felt refreshed, it was as if with each step towards home, I left a worry behind. There is something about walking that clears your mind and the health benefits are amazing, I have listed a selection below:

Health Benefits of Walking:

Walking is a low-impact exercise and gentle on your joints.

Walking regularly strengthens your heart and helps asthmatics.

Walking regularly reduces heart disease and lowers cholesterol.

Walking regularly controls your blood pressure.

Walking regularly helps control Type 2 diabetes.

Walking regularly reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer.

Walking regularly can reduce the onset of dementia.

Walking regularly tones up legs, bottom and stomachs.

Walking regularly gives you more energy.

Walking regularly increases your happiness.

Depending on the speed you walk you van burn between 75-150 calories.

How to Start a Walking Group

Plan how and when you will start a walking group, it needn’t be a big group. I started my group with four friends when my son finished primary school and now due to injuries and work commitments. I walk with my friend Mary regularly. If you regularly walk your dog, think about inviting a friend or neighbour to join you, walking and talking is a brilliant combination, it is great for your breathing and your soul. Below are a few tips that I have found work best to make walking part of your weekly routine.


Friends, colleagues, partners, neighbours or your children. Choosing company that will keep the same pace to you is a good idea. Although if their pace is slower yet you walk more regularly, that would be more beneficial to not walking at all.


Having a similar routine to the participants will increase the probability of you walking regularly. I walk before work, I find if I try and walk at lunch times, work overruns and I never quite fit as many walks into the week.

Choose the same time, place and day of the week to walk your chances of making walking a routine activity increases.


Choose to start walking from your local park, a convenient car park, outside work or from the school gates. When my children were in Primary School I choose to walk with friends after drop off instead of sitting in traffic and I got to my desk at the same time but in a better frame of mind.

If you choose to walk from your office, aim to walk for half of the allotted time you are given for your lunch break, so you can eat and cool down before you start working again.

An evening walk after dinner with your partner or friends is a great way to catch up and exercise.

My friend and I start and end at our walks from a local supermarket car park, boring but functional, and after our walk we can get the quick ‘essentials’ shop in, before we start our working days.

Organised Walking Groups:

You may prefer to join an organised Walking Group; a quick Google search will direct you to one in your local area and I have directed you to some well  established groups below:





Walking Quotes:

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking – Friedrich Nietzsche

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far -Thomas Jefferson

Happy walking and remember to share photos of your walking group or your tips and ideas with me, I would love to hear from you. www.facebook.com/themarissa.co  or twitter.com/co_marissa

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