Take a stroll this new year and help raise money for a local cancer charity

Lucy McGinn from Nightingale Cancer Support Centre encourages Enfield residents to get walking in 2024

Walkers at Enfield Playing Fields
Walkers at Enfield Playing Fields

Many underestimate the powerful impact walking has on physical and mental health. No matter the distance, a walk can do wonders.

Here are The Nightingale Cancer Support Centre’s top six reasons why you should get up and get outside.

  1. Reduce stress
    When your feet wander, your mind wanders. The endorphins released will leave you in a great mood and research has found that highly active people tend to have lower stress rates than less-active individuals.
  2. Discover your area
    We’re so used to jumping in a car or getting public transport. Opting to walk will give you a chance to explore your local area and find things you hadn’t noticed before.
  3. Lower blood pressure
    Walking as an aerobic exercise is full of repetitive and rhythmic movements which get your heart, lungs, blood vessels and muscles working, lowering your risk of future heart problems.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight
    We’re not talking about weight loss. No matter your pace, walking helps to burn calories, tone and strengthen your muscles which all leads to a healthy, happy body.
  5. Improve sleep
    Walking can gently tire your body out by releasing any tension held, encouraging a restful night and resulting in less groggy mornings.
  6. Support your loved ones
    Many charities hold sponsored walks to encourage a healthy lifestyle and support in the community which you can as a walking goal. The Nightingale Night Hike on Friday 17th May is a 5km, 10km or 15km sponsored walk around Enfield, raising funds to support people in our community diagnosed with cancer. You choose the length you feel comfortable walking and have fun doing it!

One piece of advice; don’t put too much pressure on yourself to walk a marathon straight away. Gradually build up your walking distance otherwise you could hurt yourself, lose momentum and confidence. Take it nice and slow, every step you take is literally one step closer to your goal.

If walking any distance seems like a big task right now, start small:
• Use the stairs instead of the lift;
• Get off the bus one stop earlier;
• Park further away from your destination;
• Walk up and down every aisle at the supermarket;
• Go on a five-minute walk on your lunch hour.

Incorporating these small steps into your daily routine will add up week by week, month by month and before you know it, you’ll be walking further and feeling better.

Find out more about The Night Hike and get free walking routes and maps around Enfield: