It has often been said that 10,000 is the magic number when it comes to the number of steps you should walk in a day to stay healthy – but for those who find that number a bit too daunting – fear not! New research from the Medical University in Lodz, Poland has suggested that you actually only need to do 4,000 to see long term benefits.
Their research has shown that just 4,000 steps a day will help reduce your risk of dying prematurely of any cause. And for every 1,000 steps on top of that (up to 20,000 steps) you can reduce the risk of dying early by up to 15%. That said, just 2,300 steps a day was enough to demonstrate a benefit for your heart and blood vessels.
If you’re looking for inspiration for some shorter walks to take – here are some of our favourites.
1. Heavens Gate, Wiltshire
Located in the grounds of Longleat on the Wiltshire/Somerset border, this is a great walk for all the family to enjoy with views out across the Longleat estate and you might even spot some of the wildlife in the Safari Park off to the distance.
2. War Memorial Park, Coventry
Created in memory of those who fell during the First World War, the park offers open spaces, landscaped gardens and tree covered walks. The Japanese Peace Garden is certainly worth a visit, as is the neighbouring sensory garden – both offering you a moment of calm.
3. Little Langdale to Cathedral Caves, Lake District
When it comes to the Lake District you’d be forgiven for thinking that a walk means a day out on the fells. But that’s not the case. This really is one of the hidden gems of the area – and is less than 2km in length!
4. Bennett’s Cross, Dartmoor
This short walk gives you a flavour of the open moorland of Dartmoor whilst walking up a small hill to discover a secret shelter at the top. You’ll be rewarded on this walk with views out across the valley where you’ll see remnants of the tin mining past of the area.
5. How Hill Secret Garden, Norfolk
Starting off on a short woodland walk before stepping on to the boardwalk through a secret garden – this is a really lovely walk that is perfect for those who have little legs or who can’t walk far.