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Walk more to beat January Blues, urges green transport project

Leave the car at home and walk instead, is the advice given by greener transport programme, Let’s Go Tees Valley, in a bid to help local residents overcome ‘Blue Monday’.

Monday the 21st of January is recognised as the most depressing day of the year, falling four weeks after Christmas and a week before January pay-day.

Many people are feeling the pinch financially as well as on their waistbands after December’s indulgences, which, coupled with the cold weather and summer holidays seeming a long way off, results in many of us feeling more down in the dumps than usual.

Walking is a free mode of transport that offers many benefits to us physically and mentally, as well as helping the environment. A mile-long walk takes just 20 minutes and burns around 100 calories, and counts towards the recommended daily levels of activity needed to keep fit and healthy.

To encourage residents of Tees Valley to walk more, Let’s Go Tees Valley has teamed up with Smooth Radio to offer a Fitbit and £200 of Go Outdoors vouchers in a ‘watch and win’ prize draw competition. To enter, viewers must answer a simple question about a video on the benefits of walking, hosted on the Smooth Radio website -

Walking briskly for 10 minutes, three times a day is reported to be more beneficial that completing 10,000 steps each day, as it can raise the heart rate more than a gentle stroll, however long it is.

According to Walking for Health, which runs free walking groups for people wanting to improve their health, this low-impact exercise can change how we see and feel about ourselves for the better, and leads to better moods and sleep quality, in turn reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue. On their website, they state “Physically active people have a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover.

The NHS has reported that 26% of adults are classified as overweight, and with 21% of men and 25% of women classified as inactive, it is unsurprising that one in six deaths is attributed to physical inactivity.

Recent trends in walking trips shows that there has been a significant decrease in the number of journeys completed by foot, average walking trips dropped by 19%, from around 4.7 trips per week to 3.8 trips per week, from 2005 to 2015.

Walking more could reduce the amount of traffic on our roads, which will lower congestion levels and improve air quality in our towns and villages, particularly at rush hour, when around 85% of commuter traffic is occupied with just one person.

For more information walking and other greener travel ideas, visit

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