A woman walks along, in the air behind her trails a red heart shaped balloon.

It’s easy to fall behind in general fitness. You might be recovering from surgery, stuck in a desk job all day, avoiding the cold weather, or just not motivated anymore. Perhaps your doctor has advised you to increase activity. It might be for your heart, overall fitness or help reduce cholesterol levels. You might need to learn to walk again after an accident. No matter where you are at, starting a path to fitness is easy with walking. The Heart Foundation can help you with personalised walking plans.

Studies have shown that walking for 30 minutes a day helps lower the risk of heart disease and stroke by 35%. The benefits of walking extend to better mental health and mindfulness.

You might want to start with 10 minutes and gradually ease your way up to 30 minutes a day. If you have a heart condition, speak with your doctor first for advice on how to safely build up your levels of movement.

You don’t need any fancy equipment, and there is no need to buy special clothing or look like a fitness enthusiast (or how you think they should look). Wear something comfortable. Of course, comfortable shoes are a must. Depending on the weather, you may need to layer up to stay warm, check the forecast for rain, or layer on the sunscreen if you are in a warmer climate. A bottle of water is a good idea. Fit a walk into your lunch hour, or talk time out especially.

Personal Walking Plans

The Heart Foundation has created Personal Walking Plans to help you increase your activity over 6 weeks.

Each week you can gain confidence in movement and connect with the world around you.

Over the 6 weeks, your strength and flexibility will increase to help you have a general feeling of wellness.

A man a woman, both with a prosthetic leg, walk together.

How it works

  • Complete a short form

Your plan will be based on your current activity. The form asks basic health questions about your activity, general health conditions and age. These questions help the development of a plan just right for you.

You will receive an invitation to join the Hearth Foundation Walking Facebook Group.

  • Download your plan

The plan is sent directly to your email, with easy instructions and simple exercise videos about stretching and strength. Each week you will have a focus area, challenge and support. The plan will suggest the intensity you should aim to achieve.

  • Start walking

Keep motivated as you will receive advice to your email and mobile to help you stay on track.

 

Pass the time 

If you need some distractions while you walk, take along your earbuds and favourite music or podcasts. You can listen to these fab podcasts on positivity to help pass the time. Or, Wrap Your ears around these podcasts about Disability.

Suppose you would want company, then join a walking group in your area – search at Heart Foundation Group. You can search by postcode in a radius of your choice. You can also filter by Pram friendly or Dog-Friendly groups. If you cannot find a group in your area, you might consider asking a few friends along and starting a group.


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