Out of all the different forms of exercise I have enjoyed over the years my love of walking has remained consistent. I have made lots of wonderful friends through organised walking holidays and a local Fell Walking Club (where I met my husband).
The reasons I love walking (particularly in the mountains) are many and varied.
- It can be a social activity done with family (across the age spectrum), friends, or just with your partner
- It heightens my awareness of the natural beauty surrounding us – wild flowers, trees, lakes and rivers, gushing waterfalls, birds & insects and on very special occasions – wild animals roaming freely
- I love the peace and tranquillity of the mountains, the friendliness of other walkers the wonderful views
- The satisfaction of reaching the summit after a hard climb of several hours
- It lifts my mood, removes any feelings of anxiety or frustration, anger or stress – it never fails to makes me feel at peace with the world, happy and content with my lot
- Helps me to put into perspective any problems (or perceived problems) I may have
- Keeps me physically fit and healthy
Since retiring 14 years ago we have spent much of our time travelling in our motorhome, touring around most European countries. Our love of walking has put a purpose into our route planning. In addition to visiting cities and quaint villages we purchase the Sunflower walking books for each country we visit to get ideas on the best walking areas to visit and then find a campsite nearby.
Walking is good for your mental and physical health at any age, it is just the type of walks that vary. When we are now longer able to go scrambling up mountainsides we will still enjoy the countryside, choosing flatter routes through woodland, round lakes, alongside rivers.
Guide to Walking
It is one of the easiest ways to stay active and done on a regular basis walking has lots of health benefits. It helps to reduce weight, reduce risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, asthma, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It also strengthens your bones and muscles, improves your balance and your mood.
There are few simple steps to getting started:
- Wear the right clothes and shoes. Comfortable, breathable layered clothing and supportive shoes will make sure you ready for all conditions. A waterproof jacket and walking shoes are advised to help cope with uneven grounds.
- Sunscreen and snacks. Be prepared to keep the sun at bay and the energy levels high with energy bar and water
- Start with a plan. Gradually increase the amount and type of walking, it often helps to set your self-step goals, which you can monitor on an app or fitness band, starting at 5,000 and working up. Plan a variety of routes to keep you motivated.
- Be social. Walking is a great way to meet people, so look into local rambles or walking groups. There are some really useful websites like https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder