Walking can help to keep your mind healthy as well as your body.

Walking regularly is one of the simplest forms of exercise and has lots of benefits, including:

  • Strengthening your bones and heart

  • Reducing body fat and helping you maintain a healthy weight

  • Improving mental health

  • Reducing constipation and fatigue

Following a cancer diagnosis, getting more active can have a positive impact on your quality of life. During treatment, doctors typically advice you to limit the time you spend sitting or lying down. If you are not active, you are likely to feel more tired, and lose both muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. Walking is a great, light form of activity and is safe both during and after most types of cancer treatment.

Even just a small increase in activity could help increase your energy levels, and simply walking around the block for 10 minutes may be enough if you do it regularly. If you have been inactive for a long time, it is best to increase your activity gradually. Begin by walking at a pace, and distance, that is comfortable for you. Don’t push yourself too hard as doing too much, too soon, could make you feel more tired. You could start by taking short walks with regular breaks, and then gradually increase the length or speed of these as your fitness improves. Setting yourself achievable goals could provide you with a greater sense of control.

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective aerobic and weight-bearing exercises, as your feet and legs support your body’s weight. This means that it’s good for strengthening your bones.

There are free, guided health walks across the UK, so you could join a walking group near you. These are an enjoyable, social way to become more active and improve your well-being.