This week it has been reported that inactivity is a bigger killer than obesity. And that a walk of just twenty minutes a day is enough to reduce your risk to an early grave considerably.

This on its own is encouragement enough to "switch of your television set and do something less boring instead" as the old TV series Why Don't You had it.

But walking is about more than simply a boon to physical health.

It is great for mental health too.

And the old adage that travel broadens the mind is true even when the mode of transport  is your own feet.

The beauty of it is that you don't need any special equipment. Just your shoes and the ability to put one foot in front of the other. Oh, and the curiosity to find what is round that next bend.

The more you walk, the more you will want to explore.

For city dwellers, there is an awful lot of hidden stuff you may not have noticed before. Such as the glorious architecture often hidden behind garish modern frontages. Simply look up above ground level and you will discover all manner of  clues to the history of the buildings and the town. Then there are parks and gardens, renovated canals and riversides.

And for those who live in the suburbs, the gateway to fields, farms, and woodland is never far away.

Then there are those small green finger posts with the words "Public Footpath" written on them. If you have ever wondered what lies beyond, going for a walk is the only way you will ever find out. No cars, buses, or trains ever venture this way.

Once you get more adventurous, you may have to invest in a decent pair of walking boots, and head off into the hills.

Our country is full of beautiful, awesome countryside. This takes a little more effort, but if you use a bit of common sense, you are unlikely to find yourself in deep water (although this writer has, by his own admission, found himself in one or two sticky situations.) 

But you don't have to become Chris Bonnington to enjoy a good walk.

Local authorities almost always have walking guides available at a modest price or free, and they organise guided group walks, if you prefer the company of others. 

So, for the sake of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, as well as getting to know your area better, and possibly some new friends, put your shoes on and go outside. You have nothing to lose but your lethargy.