THE sun is shining and the birds are singing and it’s great to be outdoors!

In fact, walking is an amazingly useful thing for people to do. We are actually designed by millions of years of evolution to do it.

Surprisingly, even things as unrelated to each other as eyesight, mental health, muscle tone and back posture are dependent on it. Before the dawn of civilisation we had to walk miles and miles to find food and water, probably a few hours a day. So all the body’s systems are kind of flushed around by the movement. The muscles get moved around and that releases endorphins which make you feel better.

Buying something fun also makes you feel better for about 15 minutes, but exercise can make you feel better all day.

The eyes are relaxed by gazing at things in the middle distance, outside, and mainly green and brown things, not a screen 50cms away.

Birdsong, fresh air and if you’re lucky, sunshine, are good for mental health. Walking also tends to increase creativity as you mind is free to wander. It even helps with sleeping.

It seems like everything you could do with your back is bad for it, like sitting down, standing up or lying in a bed, but walking is just right. I read somewhere that 10,000 steps a day is really good, but half and hour is a good start. If a longer distance is daunting enough to stop you from getting out, then it is much better to do a short one, even 10 minutes, than not at all.

This year, when you have to share the outdoors with many more people, please don’t throw litter away and avoid the popular spots.