Keep your daily exercise fresh during National Walking Month Image  Living Streets

Campaign encourages people to walk for 20 minutes a day

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is urging the public to ‘Try20’ during National Walking Month this May. The campaign encourages people to walk for 20 minutes every day throughout May to maintain their physical and mental health and wellbeing during lockdown.

The charity says that a 20-minute walk has been shown to reduce the risk of many preventable health conditions. Including certain cancers, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

As part of National Walking Month, Living Streets has issued #Try20 tips for how to walk safely during COVID-19 lockdown and how to keep your daily exercise interesting. There are activities for families, people working from home and those who are restricted to indoor exercise. Jenni Wiggle, interim chief executive, Living Streets said:

“Many of us are appreciating being able to get out for a walk at the moment. It remains incredibly important to keep active, both for our own wellbeing and to avoid storing up massive health problems for ourselves and the NHS in the future.

“Walking is one of the most accessible ways to stay active. Just 20 minutes can help improve our wellbeing and connect us with what’s around us.”

The #Try20 tips are accompanied by a podcast, which has well-known personalities talking about the benefits of walking, including Olympic champion Chris Boardman MBE, and Professor Shane O’Mara – author of In Praise of Walking.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Walking Minister said:

“As a result of COVID-19 many more people will be walking short distances that they may previously have taken on public transport or in the car, as well as discovering great walks on their doorstep for the first time.

“This challenge will encourage people to safely stay on the move, and hopefully inspire people to develop new active travel habits that will last a lifetime.”

Ask your council to reorganise streets and public spaces to facilitate safe social distancing

Cities worldwide have started to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling so they can do so at a safe distance from others.

Living Streets has created an online form for people to complete, asking their local councillors to call for action to reorganise our streets and public spaces to facilitate safe social distancing. Jenni Wiggle said:

“This pandemic is making us all realise how much public space is given over to individual car use rather than walking and cycling.

“Narrow footways, inappropriate speed limits and cars parked on pavements are all impacting on our ability to exercise safely. Now more than ever, we need to make sure there’s enough space for people to get out and walk.”

To download your #Try20 resources or to ask your councillor to allocate more road space to people walking and cycling, visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/nwm.

 #Try20 a day Image Living Streets