According to a recent report, tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year in the UK if people simply walked more.

The Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support concluded in their “Walking Works" report that walking could transform people's health by decreasing the odds of heart problems and stroke as well as making a difference in conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's and many cancers.

Moderate exercise is great for people with diabetes. It helps you to control your blood sugar levels, watch your body weight and fight fatigue. And walking is a great way to get more active - especially if you're starting from scratch. You can take it easy to begin with and build up slowly as you get better.

If you have asthma, improving your fitness can be a great way for you to increase your lung capacity and help you to relax. Walking is a great way to improve your fitness - building up slowly and getting faster or walking further as you progress.

If you have heart problems, you've been diagnosed with heart disease or you're recovering from a heart attack, walking is a gentle way to start getting active.

It's also great at reducing the risk of developing heart disease, so if you've been told you need to look after your heart, walking can help you make a change for the better.

Of course it's vital that you check with your doctor before you start walking. But once you have the go ahead, you can go at your own pace and in your own time, and build up gradually as your health improves.

If you don't walk already and want to find out how to get started, you’ll find lots of tips and advice on the ‘Walking for Health’ website at www.walkingforhealth.org.uk.

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