Living Streets encourages residents to take part in National Walking Month

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Living Streets is encouraging people to hit the streets and swap four wheels for two feet for National Walking Month in May.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to put their best feet forward during Walk to Work Week and Walk to School Week, which are part of the national charity’s annual flagship event aimed at raising awareness of the many benefits of walking.

Living Streets champions pedestrians and campaigns for a safe, attractive streets where people want to walk. National Walking Month is an opportunity for people to give walking a go, at least for part of their journey.

Walking is the cheapest, simplest and one of the most effective forms of exercise and walking for just 20 minutes a day can transform fitness levels, improve health and reduce stress and anxiety.

It’s also good for the economy. Investing in well-maintained streets that create an attractive walking environment has been shown to boost footfall on the high street by up to 40%. In London in 2011, research published by Living Streets found shoppers arriving on the high street by foot spent £147 a month more than those who travelled by car.

This year the Living Streets website is packed with expert tips, inspiring stories and podcasts making it easy to take that first step during National Walking Month. Visitors to the site can sign up for activities and updates via the walking hub and there are prizes to be won.

Workplaces and individual employees can register for Walk to Work Week, from May 12-16, log their walks, compete with colleagues, check out the CO2 saved and see how many calories they’ve walked off. Last year workplaces around the UK logged more than 80,000 miles for Walk to Work Week.

To register for Walk to Work Week visit http://www.walktoworkweek.org.uk/

Walk to School Week, from May 19-23, will encourage families to try the school run on foot and see how much less stressful and healthier it can be. There are Family Walking Challenges, a guide to setting up a Park and Stride scheme and tips and fun games make the most of the walk to school.

Living Streets’ Chief Executive Tony Armstrong said:

“Walking just 20 minutes a day can help you lose a few pounds from your waistline, save a few pounds in your pocket and reduce your stress levels. Over time you’ll reduce your risk of chronic conditions in the future such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes, so it’s as good for your heart as it is for your head.

“If everyone in England walked for just 20 minutes a day we would save 37,000 lives and save the economy billions of pounds.”

Visit http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-with-us/walk-to-school/walk-to-school-week-2014 for more information on how to take part.