National Walking Month - Discover The Magic Of Walking

April 23, 2024

Throughout May we will be supporting Living Streets campaign for National Walking Month.

Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve physical and mental health and stay connected to our community, helping us feel less lonely and isolated. And by swapping a short drive for a short walk, you can also help reduce air pollution, congestion and keep active in the process! 

Did you know that a regular 20-minute walk can reduce the risk of a number of preventable health conditions, including certain cancers, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes?

Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.

The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines encourage all adults (including 65 and over) to accumulate 150 mins (or 22 minutes a day!) of moderate intensity activity a week, such as brisk walking.  

From walking to school, walking to work, walking to the shops or joining in one of the many regular walking groups operating across Cumbria there are so many ways to get involved with National Walking Month and something to suit all ages and abilities.

Here's how to get involved! 

Living Streets have put together 20 tips to help you fit 20 minutes of walking into your day. From inviting friends and family for a walk to taking a post-work stroll, how many #Try20 tips can you do during National Walking Month?

Go on a scavenger hunt!  A scavenger hunt can be great for younger children.  See how many different things you can spot in your local area – Living Streets have some dedicated booklets and activity packs available with the #Try20 Scavenger Hunt! You could count how many times you see something – like park benches, pedestrian crossings or people –and you can also print out the scavenger hunt sheet to keep little ones busy once you get home. Download the #Try20ScavengerHunt 

Walking with younger children - Walking provides many opportunities to socialise and communicate with our little ones. What can they see and what can they hear when they’re out and about? Encourage them to move in different direction – backwards, sideways, circles or zig-zags. Why not try walking like their favourite animals or even go on a scavenger hunt. Help early years children to embark on an active start by venturing out and about during National Walking Month.

Activities to try from our Active Start programme include: Taking a WalkWacky WalkingTwig Pick Up 

You could also check out The Hiking Household | Family Friendly Walks | Cumbria

Walk to school! Our Active Travel to School team have developed a resource around the five ways to wellbeing for children and families to use as part of a daily walk which could include walking to school. Check out the resource and download it from our website here.

Street Tag – keep active with the app!  Walk to work, enjoy a weekend family walk, walk to the park, walk to school and gain Street Tag points along the way by capturing tags with the Street Tag app.  Street Tag is a free mobile app that incentivises you and your team to be physically active every day.  Points are gained by actively travelling to and from places, in addition to scanning virtual tags that have been scattered throughout your local area. Tags can be found on the route to school, in local parks, at local events, near your local shops, and en-route to work - more or less anywhere and everywhere making it really easy to join in the fun! 

More about Street Tag here.

Find your local Ramblers Wellbeing Walk!  Short group walks which make it easier to start walking and stay active. All walks are led by trained Walk Leaders across the County and provide a great opportunity not only to improve your health through regular walking but also to explore your local area whilst meeting new people. Walks aim to be suitable for people of all ages and abilities and our leaders will ensure that you walk at a pace that you find comfortable. 

Find walks near you here 

Visit the Ramblers Wellbeing Walks website here 

Nordic walking can support and guide while you work to improve fitness and burns around 20% more calories compared to walking without poles.  

Try a walking meeting. Or if you are busy working why not have a walking meeting!  Make the most of the warmer weather and take your meeting outside! A quick walk in the fresh air will boost your energy and productivity, so try combining a work meeting – or phone call – with a stroll.

Travel Actively! Find out more about our new programme aimed to provide a wide range of walking (and cycling!) interventions in Barrow and Carlisle. 

Walking for Older Adults

When you find exercise difficult or aren't sure how to be more active, walking is a great activity. Don't feel that you have to take long walks every day. It's better to make walking a part of your everyday routine. If your pace makes you feel a bit out of breath, but you can still hold a conversation, that's ideal. But if that's not manageable for you right now, any kind of activity is better than nothing!

How walking can improve your health

  • It helps you lose weight
  • It keeps your heart strong
  • It reduces your risk of cancer
  • It reduces your risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • It strengthens your bones
  • It improves your mood and mental wellbeing
  • It reduces your risk of dementia

If you are currently walking less then 3000 steps a day, you stand to benefit a great deal from each 1000 steps you can add to that count – and there is no upper limit where you will stop feeling the benefits so keep going!

Find out about the Live Longer Better in Cumbria Programme 

New – Walks to Live Longer Better.  A series of maps featuring walks in local parks developed by The Hiking Household, in partnership with Active Cumbria.  The six maps focus around popular parks and open spaces in Carlisle, Penrith, Workington, Cleator Moor, Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness.

As well as providing short easy-to-follow routes, the maps include information about the benefits of being active and simple exercises which can easily be done outdoors using benches along each walk.  They also highlight how being outdoors can significantly improve mental wellbeing.

The exercises can be done on any park bench so do check them out even if there isn’t a dedicated map for your local open space.

Other useful sources:

Walking - Active Cumbria

Get active - Better Health - NHS ( (Active 10 App)

Living Streets

Find walking activities near you on our Activity Finder 

Don't forget to follow us on social media as we will be sharing more walking information throughout the month.  More here