National Walking Month 2021 #MyMileMyWay Posted by Natasha Mayhew on 16 April, 2021

This year, for National Walking Month, we have teamed up with The Mason Mile to support their campaign #MyMileMyWay!  

The Mason Mile is a collection of different community-based miles, where everyone can come together to walk and talk (or jog) “their mile their way” regardless of ability or disability; helping people to become happier, healthier, and more active! The Mason Mile doesn’t judge, criticise, intimidate or pressurise. They simply encourage you to take the first step!  

For many of us, walking has become somewhat of a lifeline during the national lockdowns. With that, you are probably aware that any movement, including walking, is a real help to your overall wellbeing. The Mason Mile shared with us their top reasons why walking can boost your wellbeing and why you should join their #MyMileMyWay campaign this month: 

It can ease joint pain  
Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints, especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis – by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them. (Harvard Medical School) 

It helps with back pain 
Brisk walking for 10 minutes has been demonstrated to help with low back pain. Recreational physical activity has been demonstrated to be better than specific exercises for reducing lower back pain. (Public Health England)  

It boosts overall immune function  
Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder (Harvard Medical School) 

It can relieve anxiety and depression  
Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache (Anxiety and Depression Association) 

So, during the month of May, we invite you to keep moving and get involved with #MyMileMyWay by simply taking a picture on your walk. This could be yourself, the scenery, or even your dog! Post the photo to your favourite social media platform with the hashtag #MyMileMyWay and tag three friends to nominate them to do the same!  

Or if you would like to go that extra mile, you can also sign up here for The Mason Mile’s Equator Challenge. As foreign holidays aren’t something we can enjoy at the moment, this walking challenge simulates this experience, allowing you to travel to new and exotic places as everyone logs their weekly miles and heads virtually together to the Equator – just in time for the 21st June! You can sign up at any point, and there are some fantastic prizes to be won, including a £100 Tesco Voucher!

Make sure you’re following @wellbeingpeople as Wellbeing Coaches Pip and Grant will be sharing daily tips and motivators as they lead the way during National Walking Month!  

Click on the link to find out more about our friends at The Mason Mile