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With summer approaching and restrictions easing, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors.

Did you know that walking (leisurely or fast-paced), provides you physical and emotional benefits?

Here are five benefits that will have you walking straight to your running shoes:

  1. Walking makes your muscles stronger, strengthens your bones and can improve the health of your joints.
  2. Walking helps you sleep better at night.
  3. Walking makes you happier as your mood improves.
  4. Walking helps you lose weight with a balanced diet.
  5. Walking helps blood circulate through your body, leading to improved circulation as you are consistently moving.

If you haven’t walked in a while, you can try easing into it by beginning with short 5-10 minute walks. So what are you waiting for? Call a friend or head to your local park. The City of Melbourne’s website has a full guide of parks in Melbourne You can view their list of parks and reserves by metro or suburb.

If you don’t feel comfortable walking on your own, join a walking group. The Heart Foundation has free community-based walking groups which are great for consistent exercise and socialising.