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Sustainability and the Environment

Sustainability and the Environment

Walking

The Greater Dandenong Walking Strategy has been developed with the aim to increase the number of people walking by activating places, spaces and people through increased promotion, as well as increased access and opportunity to walk.

Health benefits of walking

  1. Burn calories 
    Walking can help you burn calories. Burning calories can help you maintain or lose weight. Your actual calorie burn will depend on several factors, including walking speed, distance covered, terrain (you’ll burn more calories walking uphill than you’ll burn on a flat surface) and your weight.

  2. Strengthen the heart 
    Walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can reduce your risk for coronary heart disease by about 19 percent. Your risk may reduce even more when you increase the duration or distance you walk per day.

  3. Can help lower your blood sugar 
    Taking a short walk after eating may help lower your blood sugar. A small study found that taking a 15-minute walk three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) improved blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk at another point during the day. More research is needed to confirm these findings, though.Consider making a post-meal walk a regular part of your routine. It can also help you fit exercise in throughout the day.

  4. Eases joint pain
    Walking can help protect the joints, including your knees and hips. That’s because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints.Walking may also provide benefits for people living with arthritis, such as reducing pain. Walking 8-10kms a week may also help prevent arthritis as well as many other health conditions.

  5. Boosts immune function 
    Walking may reduce your risk for developing a cold or the flu. One study tracked 1,000 adults during flu season. Those who walked at a moderate pace for 30-45 minutes a day had 43 percent fewer sick days and fewer upper respiratory tract infections overall. Symptoms get lessened if people get sick. That was compared to adults in the study who were sedentary.

  6. Boost your energy 
    Going for a walk when you’re tired may be a more effective energy boost than grabbing a cup of coffee. Walking increases oxygen flow through the body. It can also increase levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Those are the hormones that help elevate energy levels.

  7. Improve your mood 
    Walking can help improve your mental health. Studies show it can help reduce anxiety, depression, and a negative mood. It can also boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal. To experience these benefits, aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate intensity exercise three days a week. You can also break it up into three 10-minute walks.

  8. Extend your life
    Walking at a faster pace could extend your life. Researchers found that walking at an average pace compared to a slow pace resulted in a 20 percent reduced risk of overall death, however walking at a brisk or fast pace (at least 5-6 kms per hour) reduced the risk by 24 percent. The study looked at the association of walking at a faster pace with factors like overall causes of death, cardiovascular disease, and death from cancer.

  9. Tone your legs
    Walking can strengthen the muscles in your legs. To build up more strength, walk in a hilly area or on a treadmill with an incline or find routes with stairs. Also trade off walking with other cross-training activities like cycling or jogging. You can also perform resistance exercises like squats, lunges, and leg curls to further tone and strengthen your leg muscles.

  10. Creative thinking 
    Walking may help clear your head and help you think creatively. A study that included four experiments compared people trying to think of new ideas while they were walking or sitting. Researchers found participants did better while walking, particularly while walking outdoors.


Council walking paths

There are numerous walking and shared paths within the municipality that provide connectivity to shopping centres, schools and residential areas.

Tips for staying safe while walking:

To ensure your safety while walking, follow these tips:

  • Walk in areas designated for pedestrians

  • Look for well-lit areas if possible

  • If you walk in the evening or early morning hours, wear a reflective vest or light so cars can see you

  • Wear sturdy shoes with good heel and arch support

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing

  • Drink plenty of water before and after your walk to stay hydrated

  • Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn, even on cloudy days

How do you get started?

  • Get a pair of sturdy walking shoes
  • Choose a walking route near your home. Or look for a scenic place to walk in your area, such as a trail or on the beach
  • You can also recruit a friend or family member to walk with you and hold you accountable. Alternatively, you can add walking into your daily routine

Here are some ideas to start walking:

  • If you commute, get off your bus or train one stop early and walk the rest of the way to work
  • Park farther away from your office than usual and walk to and from your car
  • Consider walking instead of driving when you run errands. You can complete your tasks and fit in exercise at the same time

 

Council's walking tours

Council runs a number of cultural and food tours that give you the opportunity to explore some our cultural precincts on foot. Read more about Council's Cultural and Food Tours.

Alex Wilkie Nature Reserve also offers guided walking tours, where they describe the natural fauna and flora of the local environment.

Active travel

The City of Greater Dandenong encourages schools, early years and workplaces to promote active travel.  Active travel means getting to your destination through any active means such as walking or cycling.  Active travel improves physical and mental wellbeing, reduces congestion and improves community safety.  

Council endorses the following initiatives and can offer additional support and incentives to schools, services and workplaces who want to get involved:

Schools

Workplaces

Find out about the benefits of active travel by viewing the Walk to School Greater Dandenong video.