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Fresh air and fitness

Fresh air and fitness keep us on our toes in National Walking Month!

  As a nation, it seems we’re more in love than ever with walking! A new survey of the over-40s shows that 70% of us think walking is more important than it was 10 years ago - and, given the interest we see in our 140+ walking books, we can’t help but agree!

 The research, carried out by walking holiday specialists Headwater to mark National Walking Month, found that three quarters of holidaymakers over 40 love to explore on foot. Seven out of 10 believe walking is more important than it was a decade ago and more than half - 56% - love the fact that walking holidays are active yet relaxing. Yet, with recent NHS findings revealing that one in four adults in England gets less than 30 minutes of exercise a week, it seems more essential than ever that more of us start to build a short walk into our daily routine.

 When asked what’s wonderful about walking:

  • 84% of respondents said the fresh air
  • 69% like the fact that walking keeps them fit
  • 54% enjoy being around nature
  • 57% cited exploring a region in their own time as their favourite part of a walking holiday
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of over-40s who choose a walking holiday do so because they get to enjoy the outdoors

Headwater's Alison Scott says: "Our research supports the recent NHS review of obesity, highlighting the importance of regular exercise for adults. Incorporating regular walking into your routine is easy and, as it’s not a strenuous form of exercise, it’s actually quite enjoyable! On a walking holiday you can enjoy pleasures such as fine food and wine whilst burning off some of the calories when exploring a destination on foot.

"Following the research, we’d like to attract and support those new to walking by creating a series of e-guides later in the year, covering everything from what to pack to reviews of the ideal cost-effective kit to how to take the best holiday photographs. We want to debunk the myth that walking holidays are just for the active and experienced and ensure that they are open to everyone of any age, experience or fitness level. Walking is important and we want to shout about its numerous benefits.”

 With National Walking Month well underway, we agree that walking is one of the best exercises for beginners and experienced hikers alike. As well as physical benefits such as reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and some cancers, a short daily walk can be an excellent mental health booster, fighting anxiety and depression. A recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine also found that gentle exercise such as walking keeps the mind sharp in the over-50s, thought to be due to the increased supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients.

 If you’re new to walking and want to start gently, here are some suggestions for easy, accessible trails:

  Cornwall Walking on the Level

Find your feet with Norman and June Buckley’s collection of 28 mainly circular walks in one of the UK’s most popular holiday spots - perfect summer inspiration.

 Teashop Walks in Oxfordshire

Proving you don’t have to escape to remote countryside to go walking, Julie Meech’s book covers fairly level ground in the Cotswolds, the Chilterns and the Thames Valley - and has the perfect excuse to revive yourself with a nice cuppa along the way!

All Terrain Pushchair Walks in Snowdonia

You might have to work your way up to some of the more strenuous alpine adventures but, with a number of riverside strolls - the shortest being just three quarters of a mile long - Zoe Sayer and Rebecca Terry’s book truly has something for even the most tentative newbie.

  Lincoln Heritage Detective

You might spend more time ‘working out’ mentally than physically with Danny Walsh’s new release! This city walk requires you to turn detective and solve the cryptic clues in order to see Lincoln’s finest features in a new light - and to discover some quirky new ones!

 In the Spirit of Wainwright

National Walking Month is for everyone who wants to get outdoors, regardless
of health or ability. Be inspired by Debbie North and ‘sidekick’ Andy, who set off
in search of accessible adventure after Deb’s diagnosis of spinal degeneration.


Created On  18 May 2017 15:10  -  Permalink


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