Before you start
Any shoes or trainers that are comfortable, provide adequate support and do not cause blisters will do.
If you’re walking to work, you could wear your usual work clothes with a comfy pair of shoes and change shoes when you get into work.
For long walks, you may want to take some water, healthy snacks, a spare top, sunscreen and a sun hat in a small backpack.
If you start going for longer walks regularly, you may want to invest in a waterproof jacket and some specialist walking shoes for more challenging routes.

How do I know if I’m walking fast enough?
A brisk walk is about 3 miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll.
You can tell you’re walking briskly if you can still talk but cannot sing the words to a song.
Download the App http://www.stepupsunderland.com.

Use the Active Step up Sunderland App
Count your steps every day and add them to the grand total using the app or website. To keep things interesting, it’s a city-wide challenge, it’s fun, gives you badges, leadership boards and offers the change to receive rewards. Overall evidence shows that activity including walking can improve both physical and mental health. https://www.stepupsunderland.com/

What if I’m not very active?
If you’re not very active but are able to walk, increase your walking distance gradually.
If your joints are a problem, check whether your local swimming pool holds exercise classes.
The water helps to support your joints while you move and can help you strengthen your muscles.
If you’re not active because of a medical condition, get advice on exercising with a disability.
If you cannot leave the house, why not see if one of the NHS free exercise videos can help.

Make it a habit
The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit.
Think of ways to include walking in your daily routine.
Examples include:
• walking part of your journey to work
• walking to the shops
• using the stairs instead of the lift
• leaving the car behind for short journeys
• walking the kids to school
• doing a regular walk with a friend
• going for a stroll with family or friends before work, at lunch time or after dinner
Walkit has an interactive walk planner to help you find the best walking route.

Listen to music
Walking while listening to music or a podcast can take your mind off the effort.
It can also get you into a rhythm and help you walk faster.
You’ll be surprised at how fast the time goes when you’re walking to your favorite tunes.

Mix it up
Add variety to your walks. You do not have to travel to the beach or countryside to find a rewarding walk.
Active Sunderland Wellness Walking Programme consists of a series of free interesting walks led by a walk leader, including health walks, nordic walks, carers on the move and nature walks.
Sunderland City Council heritage trail walks, with many hidden treasures to discover https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/12582/Heritage-trails-

Join a walking group
Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated.
Active Sunderland Wellness Walking Programme organises group walks for health, nordic walks, carers on the move and nature walks.
Sunderland Walking Club walking club for people in the Sunderland and surrounding areas who enjoy getting outside on the weekend, enjoying the fantastic countryside and meeting like-minded people.
Sunderland Ramblers help local people enjoy walking and protect the places we all love to walk. Most groups organise regular walks led by local experts – a great way to get outside, make new friends and discover how walking boosts your health and happiness. You’re very welcome to try walking with us, or to get involved in looking after paths and green spaces and opening up new places to explore.

Events
Active Sunderland Wellness Walking Programme organises group walks for health, nordic walks, carers on the move and nature walks.
Take part in organised events like the Active Sunderland BIG Walk, choose from 3, 7 or 11 miles. For more information on the next year’s event see https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/bigwalk2019

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