Step out and enjoy your borough
Get involved in this year’s National Walking Month aimed at getting you walking, no matter what your level of fitness is.
The great thing about walking is that you can do it anywhere! There are many footpaths and parks to explore in Waltham Forest. Most of us walk a little bit every day, but most of us would benefit from walking more.
There are lots of ways to take part:
- Challenge yourself to walk a mile day (only 20 minutes) and record your progress on our physical activity app Feelgoodwf (available on iOS or Android). Earn points, unlock challenges and compete for prizes. To find more, click here
- Take part in Walk to School Week from 15 to 19 May
- Download our Waltham Forest Wanders – walking and cycling trails to discover your borough while enjoying the great outdoors
- Sign up to Walk for Women – weekly walks for women taking place in Lloyd Park every Monday.
Other local walking events and groups include:
- Whippet Out Walthamstow – local dog walking group that meets on the first Saturday of the month at Hollow Ponds, and the third Saturday of the month at Chestnuts Fields
- Waltham Forest Walks – local walking group meets bi-monthly
- Walthamstow Walking Group – a new Facebook group connecting people who want to walk around Waltham Forest/Lea Valley
- Waltham Forest U3A – organizes educational and outdoor activities for retired people
- Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society – downloadable history walks around the south of the borough
- Muslim History Tours – guided walks (booking fee applies) around historical Muslim prayer locations in Walthamstow
- Walthamstow Historical Society – themed guided walks about Walthamstow’s past
- Leyton Orient Walking Football – 3 walking football sessions take place weekly.
Did you know.....
- Walking just two 20 minute journeys four days a week can help you lose 1 pound a month (British Heart Foundation)
- You could save £279 a year on fuel costs, car maintenance and parking, if four out of five short journeys were made by foot (Sustrans)
- If four out of five short journeys were made on foot, vehicle emissions would be reduced by 7.7 million tonnes
- Every pound spent on a walking health scheme saves the NHS seven
- It would take, on average, 1 hour and 43 minutes of walking to burn off a 540-calorie Big Mac (The Independent)
- An inactive person (a non-walker) visits the doctor 5.5% more times than a moderately active person (UK Ramblers)
- Walking a mile in twenty minutes burns 100 calories, which is the same as one pain au chocolat (Sainsbury’s)
- Regular walking improves mood, reduces anxiety, aids sleep and improves self-image (Walking the Way to Health)
- One mile is about 2,000 steps, or a 20-minute walk (LiveStrong)
- If you take 9,000 steps a day that is 3.5 trips around the world in an average lifetime (BBC)
- About 80% of hospital admissions are the result of bad health habits such as sitting or not moving. (NHS)
- Road transport accounts for 22% of total UK emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) a major contributor to climate change; walking short journeys to school and walk could help reduce this (Environment Change UK)
- Over a third of journeys made by car are less than three miles costing British driver £2bn a year (Sustrans).
Tips for walking:
- Use a pedometer (many smartphones have one built in). Measure how many steps you take and try adding a few more steps each day
- Walk regularly. Try to walk on most days of the week. If you can only walk a couple of minutes to start with, that's ok aim to build up gradually
- Wear suitable footwear. Wear shoes that are comfortable, that provide good support and don't give you blisters
- Wear suitable clothing. You will feel warmer when you're walking briskly so wear loose fitting and light clothing that allows you to move freely
- Burn off calories. The longer you walk, the more calories you burn – pushing a pram when you walk uses even more!
- Walk with somebody else. Walk with someone and have a good chat along the way – or have a family walk after dinner
- Enjoy a lunchtime walk. Leave your place of work and get outside for a walk. Encourage colleagues to join you
- Get the kids walking. Walking as a family is an excellent way for the family to spend time together whilst getting some exercise at the same time.