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 and observe the big differences small steps can make.

Health experts recommend a brisk daily walk as an easy way to improve your health, with 20 minutes of walking a day being a good step towards achieving 150 minutes of physical activity a week as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer.

Walking has been shown to reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions, including cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

This year’s campaign will focus on the benefits of walking on wellbeing, including alleviating stress symptoms and reducing feelings of depression and isolation.

man walking

The charity has #Try20 tips for how to fit more walking into your everyday routine. The tips will be accompanied by ‘#Try20 Stories’ which will feature a mixture of experts and well-known personalities talking about the benefits they’ve experienced since introducing walking into their daily life. 

Jenni Wiggle, Senior Director, Living Streets said: 

“Being physically active has proven mental health benefits. Just a brisk 20-minute walk can help improve our mental wellbeing and connect us with our world and those around us. 

“We’re encouraging people to walk more during May and see what improvements they experience to their health and happiness.” 

Professor Shane O’Mara, author of ‘In Praise of Walking’ has written about the importance of walking for our social abilities and health, he said:

“Regular walking has great benefits for our physical health, but it also improves mood, memory and problem-solving, and can help with depression and anxiety.

“We need to integrate walking into every aspect of our everyday lives and that’s why it’s so important to improve our pavements and pathways so that everyone can enjoy its benefits.”

Living Streets’ National Walking Month will also play host to Walk to School Week (18-22 May). Families are encouraged to walk to school for the whole week with special activity packs being available for school pupils. The packs have activities for children to complete on the way to school and in the classroom, which focus on their wellbeing, including how walking helps with their mood, concentration and creativity.

The charity will release the results of an extensive survey to establish how walking habits affect people’s mental health.  

Keep up to date at www.livingstreets.org.uk/nwm and follow on Twitter: @livingstreets