Naomi Marshallsea lives in Barry in south Wales with her husband David and two young sons, Obi and Kit. She tells us why #walkingfromhome is so important to her and her family, especially during the lockdown. 

stephen edwards

As a family, walking has always been our everyday mode of transport. Before the lockdown, we walked to school and went shopping with Obi on his scooter and Kit in a buggy. 

Getting out of the house with two little ones can be stressful and getting them into the car just adds to the hassle. Taking Obi to school on foot is easier and timing wise, it works out the same as driving because I don’t spend ages faffing with their car seats. 

Walking to school is a lovely start to the day and Obi likes to stop and chat to his friends on the way. In Barry, the high street is very well used, and Obi knows all the shopkeepers by name. Our regular walks have built relationships and a sense of community and Obi’s a chatty and outgoing kid as a result. Walking is my only exercise and after pushing the buggy up the hill to school, I’m usually quite puffed out.

Boys walking on beach

"If physical activity were a drug, we would refer to it as a miracle cure, due to the great many illnesses it can prevent and treat."

UK Chief Medical Officers

Walking can help improve mental and physical wellbeing, tackle depression and anxiety, and connect us with our world and those around us.

Things have changed since the lockdown and our daily walk is now more important than ever. We have access to a communal garden so we can’t use it every day and Obi has a lot of energy – as most four-year-old boys do.

I’ve suffered with anxiety for most of my life, and I go stir-crazy when I can’t get out of the house. I need the fresh air and really notice the difference in my mental health when I don’t go for a walk. 

It’s good for us all. Sometimes before we head out the door the kids are tetchy, but as soon as we start walking the atmosphere completely changes. They relax and Obi can burn off all that extra energy. Even if he’s in a foul mood, he’s a different kid after we’ve been walking for five minutes. I really think that walking helps to make him a happy (and fit and healthy)boy. 

For us, walking is about so much more than just exercise.

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