Sadly, we Australians are becoming more and more sedentary and along with this comes serious medical and social issues. That’s why getting outside and enjoying the delights of nature is even more important than ever!

Whether it’s in your own garden or somewhere a little bigger there’s plenty of good reasons to take that first step!

Walking is gentle on your body and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. It’s also a great way to catch up with a friend and be active at the same time. Start slowly, and build up. How you feel is the best indicator of a safe level of activity for you. But the more physical activity you can do, the better. Over time, aim to build up to a brisk walk that makes you breathe harder, but leaves you still able to talk while you’re walking (moderate-intensity activity).

Tips for starting:
– Check with your doctor if you have a heart condition or haven’t been active for a while
– Do a bit of easy walking around your house and garden, or out on your street
– Start by walking on flat ground each day
– Have a destination, such as the local shop or the end of the block, in mind
– Walk at a pace that’s comfortable for you, you should be able to talk normally
– Build up gradually over a period of weeks to walking longer distances, then you can increase your pace, until you are walking briskly on most, if not every day of the week – then you can try going uphill
– If you can’t manage 30 minutes all at once, you can break it up into three 10-minute bursts – this is just as beneficial as doing it all at once

If you already have some walking fitness, aim for a different milestone:
– Wear a pedometer to count your steps – 10,000 steps per day is an optimal target for healthy adults
– Go walking with a friend and gradually build up the distance you walk together
– Go for a longer walk on weekends, as well as the minimum 30 minutes each weekday

There’s no doubt about it, we all need to get up and get outside more. Whether it’s spending a little more time in the garden or maybe joining a Heart Foundation Walking group, you’ll enjoy the benefits it brings for years to come!

Join Australia’s largest free community-based walking network – Heart Foundation Walking! This network aims to make regular physical activity enjoyable and easy, especially for people who are not used to being active. You can join one of our free walking groups or track your progress online as part of their virtual walking community!
For more information head to their website!


About The Author

In the Garden is an exciting new local South Australian TV program on Channel 9 this Summer & next Autumn showcasing the best ‘green’ stories this state has to tell. Check out the latest in garden trends, new plants and top tips to keep those gardens blooming.