Do you have the love for walking?
We all know just how easy it is to drive to the shops down the road or grab a taxi to visit your friends because the weather is miserable. So with these methods of transport so readily available why should we walk?
People say walking has many benefits. From seeing physical and health changes, there is also a belief it helps mentally too. Walking has been shown to reduce certain illnesses including Type 2 Diabetes and in my opinion a great stress reliever. Whether it is a few hundred yards or a number of miles, the open air will often help people regain a level of balance at difficult times.
There are many ways to stay active however walking is considered to be one of the easiest and simplest (and generally free!). Although to various levels, this underrated form of exercise can be carried out by all ages and fitness (please seek medical advice/approval if you are unsure of your health situation).
So where should you walk?
Any distance of walking is better than nothing. If you have the opportunity to walk to work or take the children to school by foot, these are a great start. Even swapping the lift for stairs at the office is considered to be a form of “walking” and therefore has benefits.
Another option is to join a walking group. Over the years, I have known many friends who have done this. Not only do they get regular exercise from the group outings, they also enjoy the social element of meeting new people and taking part in something they enjoy with other like-minded people.
I also often see this on trekking challenges such as the National 3 Peaks. The thought of taking part in a challenge of this degree on your own may put some people off however we actually get many people signing up on their own. Whilst it would be great to complete a challenge with someone you know or love, it isn’t for everyone and therefore we see a large number of participants take on the event as an individual. The company will always ensure anyone taking part on their own is made welcome and not left out. After all, everyone in the group has the same objective; to conquer the mountains and see the amazing views on offer!
From personal experience, I have witnessed the benefits of walking. A few years ago, I would be the first to jump in a car to nip to the local shop for milk rather than put the walking shoes and coat on. In modern life, it can be really difficult to find the time or inclination to walk however once I started doing it, I loved (and still love) every minute of it. I wasn’t as fit and healthy as I could have been however once I got started, I soon noticed a difference. I do agree long distance walks around housing estates does not have the same effect as breath-taking views in the country however the feeling of fresh air in your lungs and stretching out of the legs can still be found locally.
Once you get the bug for walking
I am sure you will get the bug for trekking like I did! Adding the beautiful scenery and the sense of such a great achievement to the health and mental benefits of walking, mountains are likely to become a natural progression. If you do not have anyone to go with like me, remember you will not be alone on any CC challenge as you are taking part in an event with other like-minded people wishing to achieve the same thing(s). When I completed the 3 Peaks in 2014, I felt alone for a mili-second. I got chatting to two groups of two ladies on the journey to Scotland and by the time we got to Ben Nevis, I had my walking partners… and 4 new friends!
Articles about the benefits of walking/trekking can be found below: