Walking is a great way to find out more about an area, improve your fitness, protect the environment and save money. Walking part or all of the way to work or school even once or twice a week can make a difference to your health.

Discover the benefits

Walking is a low-impact activity, making it one of the safest ways to exercise without putting strain on your muscles or joints.

Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off seven pounds of body fat per year, so why not try walking to keep your weight under control. 

Try to build walking into your normal everyday routine. For example, you could:

  • go for a walk at lunchtime - this can give you an energy boost for the afternoon
  • walk to school instead of driving
  • get off the bus a stop earlier than usual
  • walk to the newsagent or post office instead of using the car
  • walk up flights of stairs, rather than use a lift

People who walk have reported:

  • higher energy levels
  • higher stamina levels
  • reduced stress levels
  • decreased levels of illness
  • improved feeling of well being

Walking helps to:

  • prevent osteoporosis
  • reduce the risk of heart disease
  • reduce the risk of certain cancers

Walking supports the environment by:

  • having no adverse effects on the environment
  • offering an alternative to car use - walking is sometimes ignored because public transport or cycling are more commonly encouraged
  • cutting down on traffic congestion and pollution
  • reducing road maintenance and car parking, if more people walked to work

So, if you're looking for a way to get from A to B on shorter journeys then walking is the answer, it:

  • is totally adaptable to your own timetable
  • has no waiting in traffic jams
  • supports the environment
  • allows time to look around and notice the changing seasons in the gardens along the way
  • is free

For more information on walking and its benefits, contact the Public Health Agency.

Walking to school

Walking to school improves children's health and allows them to travel independently - but their safety and security is paramount.

You can find out more on the walking to school page.

Walking maps

Below are two maps that show Belfast city centre and Londonderry city centre. These show the time it would take to get to parts of each city on foot.

Staying safe

There are a few simple rules for walkers that can keep you safe. You can find out more from The Highway Code, which contains rules for pedestrians.

There's also detailed information on road safety at these links:

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