Walking 5 km a day shouldn’t be too hard … Should it? I simply love walking, and as such, find it easy to walk more than 5km each day but can everyone achieve this milestone?
Whilst we all may walk at a different pace, on average it should take about 1 hour (60 minutes) to walk 5km. So really there should be no excuse to not be walking 5km a day!! Obviously, if you live such a hectic life that you can’t commit to the full hour in one hit, then break it down into 2 x 30 minutes or 3 x 20 minute walks … It is that simple!!
Why Walking 5 Km A Day Is Great Use Of Time
One thing Covid 19 has taught us is to “do less and get more out of it.” And one key way of achieving is by walking!! According to an MIT study, over the pandemic year, more people went on leisurely strolls and power walks than they had before.
Walking on a daily basis is a great way to escape!! Whilst “time management” experts might think it is a great use of time to make phone calls when you walk, try not to!! Use it to be present – clear the mind, recharge & simply observe what’s going on around you!! Smell the flowers, listen to the birds, notice the view and feel alive.
Is Walking 5 Km A Day Good Exercise?
A simple 5km walk is a surprisingly effective and versatile way to check most (if not all) of your fitness boxes, depending on how creative you want to get with it!! … It is long enough to reap plenty of benefits (see below) and gives you enough time to throw in some variety (interval training, anyone?) while still keeping your workouts attainable, enjoyable and worthwhile.
According to the Mayo Clinic, brisk walking is a wonderful way to maintain &/or improve your overall health and wellbeing. And some of the benefits of regular walking can include …
- Reducing body fat & excess weight
- Preventing (or managing) various health conditions like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthening bones, joints and muscles
- Improving muscle endurance and general fitness levels
- Improving mood, cognition, memory and sleep
- Improving balance, co-ordination, and energy levels
- Strengthening the immune system
- Reducing stress and tension
That is why walking is a great physical activity that should be performed daily!!
5 Ideas For Making A 5 Km Walk More Challenging
You can make your workout simple and set the first & second km as a warm-up, the third & fourth km as the “working” period, where you challenge yourself by taking on a rough track or trail, increase the speed or even add some strength training, and the final km can be your cool-down (or recovery walk) … It’s that simple, but also that effective.
There’s nothing wrong with doing your 5km walk as detailed above, but if you’re ready to take the intensity up a notch, why not give one or more of the below a try.
1. Take the “hilly” route: We all know plenty of roads (or tracks) that contain some extra steep inclines. Whilst I’m by no way suggesting to give these hilly aspects the repetition treatment (although that is an option for those that like punishment!!) … Rather incorporate a steep climb into your 5km as opposed to sticking with the usual flat path!!
2. Challenge yourself with intervals: Walk slowly for one minute, walk normally for the next minute and then briskly for the third minute, and repeat anywhere between 5-10 times during your second “working” km.
3. Try 5-minute blocks: Push for one minute, and then do four minutes at an easy pace. Repeat the 5-minute blocks until you hit your 5km distance (or your timed goal).
4. Change up the scenery: Take your walk to a new area. We are blessed in Sydney to have so many accessible walking paths, tracks & areas within a 30-60 minute drive that you could take a different one every week!! A scenic trail or hike for a change can give a sense of reinvigoration or an extra dose of calmness.
Tips & Tools For Walking 5 Km A Day
In order to reap the benefits, you will need to ensure you have the right gear and are walking in good form. This includes the way you actually walk, the clothing (especially walking shoes) that you wear, and the accessories that you take with you (eg drinking water, navigation, etc)!!
When it comes to how you walk, firstly, be mindful of your upper body (shoulders and arms), and secondly pay attention to your heel strike …
1. Upper Body Form
With so many of us now sitting at a desk throughout the day, our shoulders and upper body end up getting really tight. Often, the fascia hardens, causing our posture to kind of stay stuck like that; so when we walk, the shoulders become tight and the arms don’t swing as much as they should.
If this sounds like you … A simple way to counter this is by keeping your arms loose and letting them swing since that will also help with your leg motion.
2. Heel Strike
You’ve probably heard the term heel strike applied to running or jogging more than walking, but it’s just as important for walkers as well!! For walkers, you’re naturally going to roll over to your mid-foot after landing … So you want to make sure when you land it’s on the outside of your heel. Then move through the mid-foot & push off with the big toe!!
3. Walking Shoes
Wearing walking shoes (or even running shoes for that matter) that actually fit your foot properly and are comfortable can help prevent blisters and calluses. Going for a walking shoe that is sturdy, provides good shock absorption but is lightweight will help for those longer walks. Just make sure you find the shoe that’s right for you!! … Oh and replace them regularly. If you walk as much as I do, you might only get 6 months out of even a good pair of walking shoes.
Forget about fashion … You need function and comfort in your walking clothing. Your walking clothing should be comfortable and loose-fitting to allow you to move freely and ideally allow good air flow.
And while some items may seem like a good idea (e.g. cotton socks), they’re actually not. Familiarize yourself with what to wear and what to avoid.
Depending on the time of year you are walking, it make sense to always have with you …
- A hat, hood or beanie
- Sunscreen (or clothing that fully covers your skin)
- Drinking water
- Good navigation (especially if you are walking on tracks or trails)
- A layable clothing system – The weather can change at any time & you might to add (or take off) some layers of clothing whilst in the midst of your walk
- Walking App (There are many options available – even a specific 5K app!!)
Some of My Favourite Walking Tracks in Sydney
I simply love walking and will often go for two daily walks. Even when I go on holiday, walking plays a huge part of a day’s activity. In Sydney, Australia we have some wonderful walks … Below are a few of my favourites:-
- Sydney CBD to Watson Bay via The Hermitage Foreshore (& return via Ferry) – Approx. 11km
- Sydney CBD Loop via Kings Cross (coffee stop), The Royal Botanical Gardens, Opera House, (Under) Harbour Bridge, and Barangaroo – Approx 10km
- Loftus Creek Fire Trail (Sutherland-Loftus) – Approx 10km round trip
- The Glen Reserve & Burnum Burnam Sanctuary (Como-Jannali) – Approx. 10km round trip
All of the above walks can be shortened (or even lengthened) depending on your speed, fitness, time available or desire to get in a “calorie burn”!!
How We Can Help You Just Walking 5 Km A Day
We have a walking club that is FREE for our Online Community members that meet once a month on a Sunday and takes in many of the sights of Sydney!!
If you would like to become a member of our Online Communities or simply would like to join and receive our Weekly Insights, simply click on the links below …