We all know that walking is good for our health, but how many of us actually get off the sofa or out of the car to enjoy a spot of fresh air and strolling? Now a walking Walk4Life is hoping to motivate more people, especially families, to become healthy walkers.

Walk4Life  is part of NHS campaign, Change4Life, which is a more general health-related website aimed at encouraging families and adults to eat well, move more and live longer, by making small lifestyle changes that add up to big health benefits.

Walk4Life is all about helping people move, which in turn should improve cardiovascular fitness (that’s your heart etc) and, in turn, should make your life longer and healthier. The great things about walking are that almost everyone can do it, anywhere, at any time, and it’s free. You can simply get out there and start walking.

Thousands of walks on free walking website

Walk4Life, which was launched just more than a year ago, already has 13,500 walks on the site.  Most of the walks are in England so now the website is calling for Scots to suggest their favourite Scottish walks.

Anne Clark, at Walk4Life, says: “At the moment, it’s true to say, coverage in Scotland is not as good as England; the maps are there, but not so many walks yet. We know that there must be lots of people out there who know good walks, and would be happy to share them. Please do submit them – and keep the England walks coming, too.”

The Walk4Life walks are free and plotted on OS maps. The site lets you see how long your walk is, add images and notes about the walk, and gives you the opportunity to build up a record of how far you’ve walked in total. You can add up the miles to achieve targets, such as walking the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats, or you can add them to national challenges to raise money for charity.

Everyone can add walks. Organisations can do a bit more and can add information to their walks, including links back to their own websites, and pdf documents. They can also add events to the calendar. If you want to be able to do that drop Walk4Life an email to [email protected] and they’ll set you up. It’s free.

Why walking is fantastic

  • You don’t have to plan it, so you can be spontaneous! All you need are your feet and a pair of walking shoes or boots.
  • You can do it whatever the weather. If it’s raining, don’t be put off, grab a coat and wellies and get out there.
  • It’s sociable – take a friend and have a good natter.
  • It’s a great way to make short journeys instead of taking the car – and you save money.
  • It’s free.
  • Walking is good for bones and muscles
  • Walking burns calories, build stamina, beats stress, cuts your risk of heart disease by up to 50%, lowers your blood pressure, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and the risk of some cancers.
  • Walking is ideal in winter because it can protect you against common bugs by boosting your immune system for 24 hours.