It’s the easiest and most accessible form of exercise, and it’s free.
Light exercise and time spent outdoors is a great way to clear your mind, relieve stress and feel better about yourself.
Currently the only way to see people you don’t live with is to meet them outdoors. You would get a bit chilly standing around, so walking is the way to go!
It’s great for your physical health. There are many variables, but if you walk for an hour you should expect to burn over 200 calories. Regular walking can also strengthen your heart, lower blood sugar levels, ease joint pain, boost your immune system and improve sleep.
What are the rules?
You can go outside to walk as often as you like, for as long as you like.
It’s advised you stay within your tier of local restrictions. At the moment, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool, County Durham and Redcar and Cleveland are all tier 3. North Yorkshire is tier 2.
You can meet with others in public outdoor places such as parks, beaches, and countryside, in groups of up to 6 people. You must socially distance when doing this.
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable or were previously advised to shield, then it’s still important to go outside for exercise, but try to avoid places which are likely to have lots of people. Other than for exercise, try to stay at home as much as possible.
Where should I walk?
Stockton has loads of nice parks and green spaces to walk around, as well as a great network of walking paths throughout the borough. Follow the links for more info:
If you want to blaze your own trail, you can view all footpaths, bridleways and public rights of way on the Stockton walking and cycling map, split into North and South. Paper copies are available for free in the Hub.
What do I need?
Take your phone with you in case anything goes wrong, and some water if you’ll be out for more than an hour or two.
If you’re walking on paths or in parks then you shouldn’t need any special footwear – comfy shoes or trainers are fine. A warm coat is really important in the winter, and a hat and gloves are great when it’s cold or windy. A waterproof jacket makes all the difference on rainy days too.
How far can I walk?
The average person in the UK walks only half a mile per day, but most healthy people should be able to walk 5 miles (8km) in 2 hours without an issue. If you are older or have health issues then this will be lower. Your best bet is to start small; walk for half an hour and see how you feel, and then go from there!