Starting out walking

Lots of people choose to start out being more active by walking. A good guideline for how fast is to walk at a pace where you can carry on a conversation.

What to Wear and Bring

Choose clothing that is:

  • Appropriate for the weather: keep out the sun, rain or cold;
  • Comfortable and easy to move in;
  • Practical: long or ¾ pants are more practical than a skirt for women;
  • Layered: Several layers of lighter clothing are better than one thick layer.

There are lots of flashy things available but you're bound to find something in your wardrobe that will do just fine.

Choose shoes that are:

  • Comfortable and cushioned;
  • Have good grip on the sole; and
  • Sturdy yet flexible - lace-up shoes are often best.

Comfortable feet are important so find a pair of socks that are cushioned and fit nicely.

Other things you might like to take with you include:

  • Water bottle;
  • Lightweight backpack or a "bum bag";
  • Lunch and/or snacks – healthy choices that give you sustained energy on a longer walk; and
  • Sunhat and sunscreen.
Suggested walking programme for beginners

Here is a suggested programme if you rate yourself as an "absolute beginner":

  • Weeks 1-2: Walk 10 minutes every second weekday and 10 minutes each weekend day
  • Weeks 3-4: Walk 15-20 minutes every second weekday and 30 minutes each weekend day
  • Weeks 4-5: Walk 20-30 minutes most weekdays and 30 minutes each weekend day
  • Week 6 and beyond: Walk 30 minutes or more on 5 or more days of the week.

Congratulations, now you are active!

Find out about local walking tracks or routes near you.

Walking with Other People

Pacific WalkersWalking with others is a really good way to keep motivated, be more committed and have a more sociable walking experience.  It's a good idea to walk with someone else who walks at the same pace as you.

If you are keen to walk with others on a particular day of the week, there are various walking groups around greater Christchurch.

Find a walking group in Christchurch near you (Christchurch City Council).

Short guided walks (30 to 45 minutes) now depart from CCC Recreation and Sport Centres:

  • From Graham Condon at 8am on Tuesdays and Thursdays;
  • From Taiora QEII main entrance at 9.30am on Tuesdays.
  • From Jellie Park main entrance at 10am on Tuesdays; and
  • From Pioneer main entrance at 9.30am on Wednesdays.

Find out about local walking groups (Greater Christchurch Sport and Recreation Guide).

Find out about more walking groups and paths (CINCH, Christchurch City Libraries).

Use the Gap Map from Gap Filler to take a walking tour around the central city.

Run NZ Run is a national virtual run or walk network that aims to have as many people across the country out running and walking for their health. They run a series of specific 5km events during the year (often related to public holidays or special dates) as well as challenges over a set period of time or distance.

Get more information on how to start your own walking group.

Try Walking Netball with the Christchurch Netball Centre

Walking Netball is an adapted programme designed for participants of all abilities, especially those who:

  • Have had a break from the sport and are interested in beginning to play again;
  • Are recovering from injury; or
  • Want to learn to play netball for the first time.

Make new friends, develop skills and fitness and have a laugh! Sessions run on Wednesday mornings during term-time at Ngā Puna Wai.

Walk and Talk For Wellbeing

Join Madi and Kim from Kaikōura Healthcare for a light walk and a chance to connect. All ages and abilities welcome.

Meet at Kaikōura Racecourse every Wednesday at 1pm, with an optional coffee and catch up afterwards. You can also talk with Madi and Kim about any health or wellbeing questions you might have. Text Kim to register your interest or for more information (0272 825 523).