Without doubt Queensland boasts some of the best beaches, scenic paths and bushwalking trails in Australia, so is it any wonder that walking for exercise, leisure or travel, is an integral part of living in Queensland.
At Health and Wellbeing Queensland, we recognise that Queenslanders love to walk, alone or with friends and family or workmates.
That is why we are delighted to bring you this ultimate guide to walking, to prepare you for Queensland Walks Month (1-31 August).
Did you know that walking is a super-powered exercise?
The low-risk yet effective exercise of walking is highly beneficial in promoting health and wellbeing for Queenslanders of all ages and abilities.
Regular walking helps us to maintain a healthier weight while also preventing and managing serious health problems including heart disease, asthma, diabetes, strokes and depression.
Walking immediately boosts energy levels, enables us to inhale fresh air and through sunlight, aids the manufacture of Vitamin D.
It is therefore vitally important to make time to step into the gentler winter sun and get active.
Keep it simple and safe
Whether it’s a walk in the morning, at lunch or in the evening, walking is great for your health, social connectivity and the environment.
At Health and Wellbeing Queensland, we know how busy life is for many Queenslanders, which is why we recommend planning for regular walks and staying safe.
Walking is a healthy activity yet it can also pose some safety risks. Follow these tips for walking safely.
- Pay attention: Use pedestrian crossings and walk across roads with care. If there is not a footpath, walk on the side which will enable you to face oncoming traffic.
- Stay alert: Keep focused on your surroundings, avoid distractions like headphones and mobile phones. Avoid dimly lit, quiet areas and unfamiliar shortcuts.
- Bushwalking: If possible, walk with others, always carry water, warm clothing, extra food, a map and phone, wear a hat and sturdy shoes, use insect repellent and let someone know your itinerary.
When opting for leisurely strolls, Queenslanders are spoilt for choice with a vast network of paths across the state.
However, it is the City of Gold Coast’s shared paths spanning the iconic coastline from the Seaway to the NSW border, that are exceptional.
Now attracting thousands of walkers each day, the Gold Coast’s coastline paths are complemented by quieter paths at scenic locations like Emerald Lakes Parklands at Carrara, the Damian Leeding Memorial Park at Oxenford and the Tamborine National Park.
Further afar, Quart Pot Creek Parklands at Stanthorpe are also a drawcard, featuring 5 kms scenic walking tracks amid panoramic water and granite landscape views.
Another trending activity is to explore every street and park in your neighbourhood.
Irrespective of why and where you walk, the health, social and environmental benefits all count towards making healthy happen.
Join the challenge
The Queensland Walk Explore Steps Challenge is a month-long physical activity pursuit and is a key activity of Queensland Walks Month.
To participate, log in or register for the 10,000 Steps, proudly supported by Health and Wellbeing Queensland, and chart your activity on the dashboard or your Step Log.
Community members are also invited to join regular Governor’s Walks through the Fernberg Estate in Paddington.
Find out more about the Governor’s Walks and the opportunity to join Her Excellency, Dr Jeannette Young, Governor of Queensland, and Health and Wellbeing Queensland via Queensland Government House website.
Remember, all activities count and every step matters in making healthy happen during Queensland Walks Month, whether you walk, run, roll, stroll, swim, cycle or dance.
To find out how Queensland Walks Month 2023 is being celebrated through the theme ‘Walk Explore’ and to find an activity near you, head to Queensland Walks (queenslandwalks.org.au).
- Queensland Government, StreetSmarts, Tips for walking safely
- Queensland Government, Parks and forests, Walk with care
- Queensland Government, Walking