An image containg a cartoon person walking and the words Walk to Work Day
Today is Walk to Work Day. Whether you are working, recovering from cancer treatment, retired or caring for someone, walking is a great way to build more activity into your daily life. In this blog, content developer Rachel explains the benefits of walking and how to do more.

The NHS recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults aged 19 to 64. But when life is busy, or you are coping with an illness such as cancer, finding time for physical activity can seem impossible.

Walking is an easy, low-impact way to start becoming active. It can be part of everyday life and you can increase your activity gradually. For example, you could walk further or faster, or change your route to include more hills.

You can walk on your own, or with family or friends. Or, you could join a local organised walking group and meet new people.

Does walking really count as exercise?

A brisk 10-minute walk each day has lots of health benefits. One way to tell if you are walking briskly is if you can still talk but can't sing the words to a song.

Walking briskly is one of the simplest and most effective aerobic exercises. It is very good for your heart and lungs. It is also a weight-bearing exercise, because your feet and legs support your body’s weight. This means it is good for strengthening the bones (the spine, pelvis and leg bones).

Walking and getting some fresh air can also be helpful if you are feeling low or anxious.


Finding time to walk more

Try to make walking a regular habit. Here are some ways to include walking in your daily routine:

  • walk part of your journey to work or school
  • walk to the local shops
  • use the stairs instead of the lift
  • go for a walk in the park with a friend
  • find a local walking group.

We have more information about health walk programmes across the UK that offer free, short and friendly health walks to suit people with long-term health conditions.

Walking if you have cancer

It can be hard to think about exercise when you are dealing with the symptoms of cancer or side effects of treatment. But becoming more active may help with this, and it is usually safe to start doing some physical activity during or after treatment.

We have more information about exercising safely if you have cancer.

You can also order our free Move More guide to becoming more active at be.macmillan.org.uk, which includes our Physical activity and cancer booklet.

An image of our Physical activity and cancer booklet

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The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

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