Lady walking along a beach

Get out of the office at lunchtime and take a walk

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We have air conditioning, our own desk and comfortable chair. There isn’t a huge danger to our safety at work and we are happy in our lives. But let’s not get complacent; there really are health risks from working in an office.
Office work, not as safe as you might think. Firstly there is the danger of over eating and a poor diet. We might be tempted by a chocolate bar or packet of crisps as a pick me up from when we are lacking energy. Perhaps more worrying though, is not just diet, but a sedentary lifestyle, which can have effects on our hearts, our blood flow, and, is terrible for our backs.
Cheer up, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, there are loads of things you could be doing to improve your health at work, but let’s focus on walking.
If you can walk to work, give it a go. If you have to speak to a colleague, ignore the emails, get up and go find them, and use the stairs instead of the lift. Stop chomping junk for lunch; take a walk to get healthy food.
Taking a 20 minute walk at lunchtime or after work is the best advice to get you buzzing. True, this won’t give you a six-pack, but it can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, alleviate depression, and improve productivity. You might still look like a bag of spuds, but you’ll feel fantastic.
Here are some ideas for lunchtime walks:

The Capital is probably too large an area to be specific, but here are a few themed ideas you could research; The City, Samuel Pepys’s London, and St Pauls; Regency London – Mayfair; London Wall Walk; James Bond’s London – The West End; Intellectual London – Holborn and Kings Cross; The Mile of Style around Regent Street; and, Legal London – The Strand to Fleet Street. Also there are plenty of manageable sections of the Thames Path.

Start in St Nicholas market, then along Welsh Back, Head on to Queen Square, then past the harbour, on to Millennium Square and carry on round the river where you can see a replica of The Matthew, the ship in which John Cabot sailed to North America in 1497, and Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the “ship that changed the world”.

The city is quite spread out, so in a half-hour walk you need to keep to quite a small area. Start in George Square, right in the centre, and head up to Royal Exchange Square, and then follow Buchanan Street all the way to the bottom, by the river. Take a left and walk in a line along the river, and keep going until the gates of Glasgow Green, which is a huge park and has the same feel as Central Park in New York.

Start from Pulteney weir and cross Pulteney bridge which, walk down the elegant Great Pulteney Street,. At the end of the street is the Holburne museum and behind this is Sydney Gardens. Walk down one side of Great Pulteney Street and return on the other, looking at the bronze plaques of famous people who have stayed in some of the houses, from Wilberforce to Napoleon III.

Start at the Pier and cross Kings Road to wander up East Street into the Old Steine area, where there are lovely Victorian homes and gardens, then cut through to the fishermen’s cottages from the 1500s. Continue to the Cricketers pub, and go on into Black Lion Lane and Ship Street Gardens. Head past the old Hippodrome and into the old Lanes area.

If it’s not too far away, you could walk around Castlefield. By taking a short loop you can check out the Giant’s Basin, which is the overflow from the canal that goes into the river Medlock, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Taking a circular route and you can end up in St John’s Gardens, where you can eat your lunch, and be back in time to start the afternoon.

You can spend half hour exploring the castle, all off-road, away from the hubbub of the city. Start at the Castle’s main entrance and head east down the “animal wall”. Then you come around the back to the arboretum. After the arboretum you come around towards the civic centre, and there are fantastic views of the Victorian development.

Start at the Corn Exchange and walk down towards the river, to the gate area, then over the river Aire by Bridge End. Turn left on to Dock Street and left again into the housing development on Victoria Quays. Carry on to the old Tetley’s Wharf, Brewery Wharf, and then over the Centenary Bridge on to The Calls. Go under the railway arch back up towards the Corn Exchange, turn right to Kirkgate Market, then into Victoria Quarter, to the County Arcade and Queens Arcade.

Start off in Princes Street, head up the Mound and then on to the Royal Mile, St Giles’ cathedral will be right in front of you, so you can walk around it. Then up to the esplanade of the castle, after that you look northwards to a small gate and walk down a long flight of winding steps back to Princes Street gardens.

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