Did you know May is National Walking Month? This year it’s coordinated by Living Streets, which is encouraging those who can, to try walking for 20 minutes each day and participate in the #Try20 campaign.
Over the past year, many people have taken up walking to pass the time and stay active during the pandemic. Not only is walking great for both your physical and mental health, it’s free, simple and one of the easiest ways to become healthier.
With that in mind, we’re shining a light on the amazing health benefits of walking, as well as some of our favourite local walks near the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) that you can enjoy throughout the month of May and beyond.
What are the benefits of walking?
As well as being a great way to discover new parts of your local area and save money on other transport methods, walking offers a number of physical and mental health benefits.
Physical health benefits
- Help with weight management and maintaining a healthy weight
- Build strength and endurance
- Improve your lung function as you become fitter
- Reduce your risk of a variety of diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and various cancers
- Help promote bone strength and prevent osteoporosis and arthritis
- Strengthen your immune system as a result of improved overall health
Mental health benefits
- Reduce stress
- Manage anxiety and depression
- Helps improve your mood and outlook
- Improve your sleep
- Increase your energy
- Help maintain concentration levels throughout the day
How often should I go for a walk?
The UK Department of Health recommends adults aged 19 – 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week. As long as your walk is brisk and increases your heart rate, it can be classed as moderate intensity.
Even 10 minutes of walking each day can offer a whole host of health benefits and count towards your recommended 150 minutes for the week.
Local walks near the BIC
Sunderland’s Riverside Walk
Right next to the BIC you will find a path that takes you along the riverside. Perfect for lunchtime walks or as part of your route to and from work, this path follows the water most of the way. You can walk for more than 6 miles if you wish, or just take a there-and-back route if you want a quick, brisk walk.
Sunderland Sculpture Trail
Along this route you will find a number of artworks and also reach Sunderland’s Sculpture Trail, which brings together Sunderland’s past and present.
Southwick Village Green Heritage Trail
Just 20 minutes from the BIC is the start of the new Southwick Village Green Heritage Trail, showcasing the amazing history of the area and points of interest.
Explore more of Sunderland City Council’s heritage walks to find some hidden treasures.
BIC’s new outdoor spaces
Here at the BIC, we’ve also made a number of improvements to our outdoor areas to support the health and wellbeing of our tenants and clients. Once you have enjoyed your brisk 20 minute walk, our outdoor space is the perfect place to finish your lunch break, or enjoy your morning coffee before work.