For those who don’t currently do any exercise, walking is a great way to start.
Walking is our natural way of getting around but due to cars, buses, trains etc people seem to have forgotten this. Our bodies want to walk. Sitting down all day at home or at a desk means our hip flexors become tight and our glutes become weak and lazy, and all these and everything else that comes with it means getting out and walking is very important before we all become the people in WALL-E.
Although I do a lot of exercise I never really walk anywhere as I tend to run or cycle. So I have now added walking to my routine. Instead of doing a recovery run or doing nothing on my rest days I download a podcast and set out on a walk. In my case the walk is supposed to help me recover so I make sure it is gentle and wholly untaxing (however my natural, easy walking speed is classed as “brisk” at 3.5mph). Over the past week I’ve done three walks of between 40 minutes and 1.5 hours. I have chosen to listen to podcasts whilst walking but of course you can listen/not listen to whatever you like, go with a friend or a child on a bike or whatever you like.
If you want to meet new people or desire a structured walk, Brighton Healthwalks is a great place to start. You may have seen the Healthwalk distance markers around the city (I’ve seen a few on the seafront). Organised by the council, they have dedicated volunteer walk leaders and support seasoned walkers or those who are just starting out. All walks are graded on distance and gradient so you can choose the most suitable for your current level of fitness. These walks are free and are a perfect way to meet new people and help you keep to your new regime. Once you’ve met other like-minded folk you can go on your own walks in between the organised ones. Soon you might even feel like taking it up a notch and going longer and/or off-road. The Downs are so close and perfect for a slightly more strenuous walk.
Maybe you’d like to progress to Nordic walking where you use poles to get your arms and core more involved. There are Nordic walking groups that meet in various places so don’t feel shy about having a go!