Page last updated at 00:03 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

'Burn off' Christmas with a walk

A Christmas walk can help people burn off their lunch

The public have been urged to have an active festive break, by going for a walk on Christmas Day to burn off the calories consumed during lunch.

The typical Christmas menu of turkey and pudding adds up to 1,500 calories - half of a man's recommended daily intake and three-quarters of a woman's.

The government urged people to take to the streets, fields and beaches and take a stroll after eating.

To promote the "Christmas walk" a list of top English walks has been drawn up.

They include a stroll around famous London landmarks, such as Tower Bridge, a trek in the Peak District and walk on Birmingham's Moseley Bog, which inspired JRR Tolkien's books on hobbits.

'Sluggish feeling'

The Department of Health, which has teamed up with the Ramblers charity to promote Christmas Day walking, said a stroll of just one mile could make a difference.

Public health minister Gillian Merron said: "Whatever the weather, a traditional festive walk is a great way for families and friends to avoid that sluggish feeling and have a more active Christmas.

"Being more physically active can make a real difference to your health - taking that extra walk is something we can all enjoy as a family."

And Tom Franklin, chief executive of Ramblers, said: "Winter is a great time to go walking - there's nothing like a crisp winter day and the kids will really enjoy themselves if it snows.

"But it's also important to stay active and make the best of the short daylight hours by getting out of doors, helping you walk off the mince pies and avoid the post-Christmas blues."

For more information about the winter walks go to

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