For those of you that missed it, May was National Walking Month. Lots of people were out and an about walking to work or walking their kids to school.
It’s a great way to avoid the traffic stresses and even spend some quality time with the kids outdoors in the fresh air. Spending time outdoors is not only good for your physical fitness, but also your mental wellbeing too.
Here’s some ideas to get you started:
Step 1: Get started and get sociable
Fitting more walking into your daily to day routine is easy. It will help you feel fitter, improve your mood, get you more involved in your community and improve your social life! What’s not to love?
Try introducing a 20 minute walk into your day, if it’s not feasible to walk to work or do the school run on foot, why not adventure out at lunch time? Grab some colleagues and before you know it you’ve got a walking club set up.
Step 2: Count your steps
There’s various ways you can do this, the most popular would be through an activity tracker or an app on your mobile phone. Counting your steps and aiming for your daily target is one of the most motivating ways to get yourself walking. Some of the more advanced trackers and apps offer competitions between friends challenging each other to do the most steps. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone!
If an activity tracker is out of your budget there’s plenty of simple pedometers available on the high street, which will track your steps perfectly.
The British Heart Foundation suggests aiming for 10,000 steps a day or 150 minutes of brisk walking every week. Download their handy PDF here for more info:
Step 3: Share your routes
We’ve recently been encouraging our workforce to be more active and track their mileage as part of a fundraising campaign for Alder Hey. With out a doubt, the most popular activity was walking. We found that a lot of employees were enjoying walks at the weekend in some beautiful locations, and on top of this, they couldn’t wait to show off their picturesque surroundings.
If you’re serious about encouraging staff to walk more, try setting up a place they can share their pictures and routes. A great place to start would be a private Facebook group, or any other social media that connects your employees. If this sounds too much like hard work or you’re uncomfortable with setting up a group that’s accessible out of hours, why not start a walking notice board in the staff room where employees can share their photos, routes and events.
If you’re looking for some ideas on where to start, we’ve collated some ideas at the end of this blog.
You’re on the right path
We’re no experts and we’re only speaking from past experiences, but by following the tips above and encouraging more to walk, you’re bound to see the benefits. If you’re looking for a more expert opinion and a place full of facts, figures, tips and ideas head over to Living Streets’ #Try20 tips, if what we’ve suggested isn’t enough, there’s plenty on there to keep you going!
If you’re after some inspiration, here are some of our team’s favourite walks:
A well known big hill (it’s not high enough to be deemed a mountain) buried in the Clwydian Range is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The peak of the hill is 1,818 feet above sea level and offers fantastic views across the North West.
There are three routes to cater for all abilities, but if you want to make it to the top follow the purple route, it’s definitely worth it!
Location: Llanferres, Mold, CH7 5SH
Trent & Mersey Canal
The 93.5 mile route boasts a number of sights including Mow Cop Castle, boat yards, pubs and restaurants. You don’t have to do the whole 93.5 miles though. There’s a particularly picturesque route between Stone and Barlaston that ends with pubs at either end – so you can enjoy some light refreshment!
Abersoch Coastal Walks
The Llyn Peninsula and the Abersoch area have always had some fantastic walks, however, the opening of the Wales Coastal Path in 2012 has made much more of the spectacular local coastline very accessible to walkers. One of the most popular routes is called the Cim Farm Circular Walk, a 3.2 mile walk which shows off the boundaries of Cim Farm and includes spectacular views of St. Tudwai’s Islands.
Location: (Close to) Cim farm, Bwlchtocyn, Pwllheli, LL53 7BY
River Dee and Chester City Walls
If you fancy walking the oldest, longest and most complete city walls in Britain with a pit stop along the River Dee this one’s for you. An easier 2 mile walk in the heart of Chester showcases the history and culture of Chester.
Location: 8 The Groves, Chester CH1 1SD
Snowdonia mountain range
Liverpool Pier Head to Otterspool
Start: Canada Blvd, Liverpool L3 1HU
End: Aigburth Road, Liverpool, L17
Location: Victoria Road, near Formby, Liverpool, L37 1LJ