Walking in Dunedin
Walking is one of the simplest and most cost-effective forms of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and the motivation to get started. It is a great activity choice for people who aren’t currently doing much activity or want to boost their activity levels. We are lucky that Dunedin has plenty of great walking tracks, and even interesting and safe ways to walk to/from work or shops.
MoveMe recommends walking with others, for those who may find it difficult to put on your shoes and get out the door. It is amazing how your motivation lifts when you know someone will be ready and waiting for you. Ask a friend or family member to walk with you, or search the walking group database.
To achieve health benefits from walking, work up to walking briskly for 30 minutes on most days of the week. Remember though, it doesn’t all have to be done at one go. Split it up into three 10 minute blocks or two 15 minute blocks. If you are using a pedometer then 10 minutes of walking is approximately 1000 steps.
Start out slow and easy. For you, this may mean a five or ten minute walk or you may be able to start straight off at 20 minutes. Do what feels comfortable for you and stick to this time for one week. The following week, increase your time by five minutes, and make increases each week until you are walking for as long as you like.
One of the toughest things about starting a new walking programme is developing a habit. Some people find that setting a goal to reach each week can help with motivation. Start by thinking about what is realistic for you right now but also a wee bit of a challenge so that you get a sense of achievement when you achieve your goal. Remember to review your goals each week, so that they continue to challenge you a little. Working up to achieving 30 minutes a day is great, but if you can fit in extra then that is even better!
Another good strategy to help you get started is to make a plan of where and when you are going to fit in your walks. You may have great intentions to go for a walk after work but lots of things can interfere with those intentions, so make a plan and stick to it. Write in your diary or make a note on your phone of exactly what time you are going to go for a walk and where you are going to walk to.
To be beneficial we need to walk at a moderate intensity. That is one where you can still carry a conversation and you should be breathing harder than normal but not gasping for air. For those who need some numbers, moderate intensity roughly equates to 100 steps a minute – try counting your steps over a minute!
The Getting Started section has some great tools and information for those needing more information on starting out. In this section you can set goals, look at your motivations and confidence and much more. You will need to be a MoveMe member to access some of this information but signing up is free, you will be the first to hear about Dunedin events and news through our monthly newsletter and you will have the opportunity to enter our monthly promotions.