Get Inspired: How to get into walking

Walkers in a park in Bath
Fast Answers
Why get into walking?It's the easiest way to add some physical activity to your day.
Who is it for?Regardless of your fitness level or age, walking is one activity that can be enjoyed by pretty much everyone.
Is there a cheap option?It's free! Go during your lunchbreak, get off of the bus a stop earlier and walk a bit, use stairs instead of lifts!
What if I want a proper workout?There are walking trails all over the UK that vary in difficulty. Try a path with an incline or pick up the pace.
Can I take it to another level?If you want a really testing challenge, Nordic walking or race walking might be your cup of tea.
Is there a disability option?More and more walking trails are developed with accessibility in mind. Do some research beforehand.
Is there a family option?Group walks are great for the soul - rid yourself of any anxieties while having a good old chat along the way!

All able-bodied people walk to some extent every day, but most of us would benefit from walking more.

Whether it's for leisure, to work up a sweat or in competition, you can find a type of walking that suits your ability and fits into your schedule, not to mention that walking with others is a great way to meet new people and keep motivated.

To get you started, Active 10external-link is a free app that gets you out walking in 10 minute blocks. If 10,000 steps feels like too much, you'll be surprised about the health benefits of just walking in short bursts of time.

For more information about the benefits of walking, take a look at the helpful NHS walking guide.external-link To find local walking schemes or to start one of your own, visit Walking for Health.external-link


Get Inspired: Walking with man's best friend

Ditch the car and walk - it's that simple! Most areas of the UK have footpaths and local parks which make walking safe and easy.

If you'd like to explore walks in your area, Walk4Lifeexternal-link is the perfect place to start, listing more than 80,000 routes and allowing you to record your achievements.

There are also various free or cheap apps online or for smartphones that will track your distance and speed if you want to test your progress.

Walking groups

Get Inspired: Ballater Walking Festival

Don't want to walk alone? Joining a walking group is not only social, it can also help motivate you to keep going.

In Northern Ireland, take a look at Walking in your Community,external-link in Scotland Paths for Allexternal-link can help, in Wales look at Let's Walkexternal-link and in England Walking for Healthexternal-link will have a local group for you.

Can't find a walking group in your area? Start your own walking revolution! Wherever you are in the UK, there are schemes to help you help your community get walking. Contact your walking organisation in Scotland,external-linkWales,external-linkNorthern Irelandexternal-link and Englandexternal-link to find out more.

Rambling and hiking

Walkers near Ullswater Lake, Lake District
The UK has a number of fantastic walking spots, such as the Lake District in Cumbria

If you enjoy the great outdoors, there is no better way of experiencing the countryside than at your own pace through hiking or rambling.

The UK Ramblersexternal-link can provide you with insightful information on routes around the country, as well as giving you helpful tips on making the most from your nature walk.

If you are in England or Wales and fancy a top-quality walking experience take a look one of the 15 National Trailsexternal-link. In Northern Ireland, browse the Walk NIexternal-link website for top walking destinations and events. See Ramblers Scotlandexternal-link pages for trails in Scotland.

And make sure you have the right equipment for hiking and rambling with our special guide.

Nordic walking

'This is walking with four legs'

If you fancy taking your walking to the next level, you should consider Nordic walking, in which poles are used to work the upper body and push the legs a little harder.

Obviously, as the name suggests, it's inspired by and most popular in Scandinavian countries - but there are a healthy number of enthusiasts across the UK.

So, if you are interested in a strenuous workout, British Nordic Walkingexternal-link or Nordic Walking UKexternal-link are great places to start to find tuition and instructors near you.

How to burn more calories while walking

Race walking

Welsh race walker Bethan Davies on why the sport deserves more respect

Think you're a better walker than your friends? Put it to the test.

Competitive walking is a challenging endurance sport, in which you have to have at least one foot on the floor at all times - no springing steps like you would if you were jogging!

Visit the Race Walk UK siteexternal-link to find a club near you.

What's next?

1. Find your nearest walking group through Walk4Lifeexternal-link.

2. Share your storyexternal-link and inspire others.

Are you inspired to try walking? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired,external-link visiting us on Facebookexternal-link or email us on

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.