Spring In Your Step: Ways To Get Active This National Walking Month
The great outdoors. It didn’t get that name by accident, you know. The UK is blessed with some of the finest outdoor spaces in the world. The Cumbrian lakes, the Peak District, the mountains of Scotland, the beaches of Bournemouth - the list could go on forever. The point is, there are lots of incredible things to see and do out there. All you need to do is step out of your front door!
May is National Walking Month, so it’s the perfect time to get your boots on, keep fit and #WalkThisMay. The best thing about walking is that anyone can do it! You don’t need any fancy equipment, special instruction or safety gear. All you need is yourself, a plan, and a sturdy pair of all-terrain walking shoes. A water bottle is a smart idea as well, as you don’t want to get dehydrated halfway through your journey. There are no rules to National Walking Month (well, apart from doing some walking!), so just head out there and prepare to explore!
What is National Walking Month?
From taking the dog for a walk to tackling a challenging multi-day expedition, there’s a huge amount of joy to be had on a humble walk. Despite how it sounds, National Walking Month isn’t necessarily about walking huge distances or scaling mountains (of course, if you’re an avid adventurer, be our guest!). Instead, it’s more about making small life changes - changes that anyone could make. Take walking to the local shops instead of driving as a prime example, or encouraging your kids to walk to school instead of taking the bus if you live nearby. We could all stand to squeeze in an extra walk or two here and there, and what better time than now? With the spring sun slowly making its appearance, embracing the great outdoors and going for a light stroll is a fantastic way to get in some much-needed vitamin D, not to mention a low-impact way to keep fit - it’s a win-win!
Of course, it’s easy to make excuses, especially in modern times when we are so glued to our screens and devices. But think of it this way: 30 minutes scrolling through your social media feed is 30 minutes you could spend out in nature. What about the time spent watching TV after work? Why not swap that for an extra walk once or twice a week?
If you’re new to walking, we hope this blog gives you that extra bit of encouragement you need to give it a go!
Enjoy the benefits of walking
When you really think about it, walking is amazing. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can increase cardiovascular fitness, burn fat, strengthen bones and boost your endurance and muscle power. Your walking routine doesn’t have to be vigorous, either. In fact, only 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week (or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity) can improve fitness levels significantly and have long term impact against cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. These are just a few of the known benefits of walking, but let's look at some more.
Walking is the most universal form of exercise out there. It’s easy on your joints and muscles, so can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of fitness levels or abilities. With the longer summer days in sight, it can be done at any time of day and you can walk at your own pace. All in all, walking is the perfect activity for anyone with mobility issues, those who haven’t exercised in a while, or those of us wanting to shift a few of those lockdown-induced pounds.
The benefits of walking aren’t just physical - it can have a huge impact on your mood, too! It relieves stress, improves your memory, and will help you sleep better at night. In fact, a recent study by the University of Nebraska Medical Centre showed that only 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, such as walking, reduced the risk of depression by 26%. If you need more reasons to keep fit, exercise encourages all kinds of changes in your brain, from encouraging neural growth to reducing inflammation and promoting feelings of calm and wellbeing. What’s more, walking releases endorphins, which are the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Right on!
Get out into the wild
The true enjoyment of walking is to be found in the great outdoors. Once you’ve been walking for a little while, you can begin to venture further afield. The UK is home to some awe-inspiring landscapes, boasting a wealth of terrains for hiking, general exploring or even multi-day excursions.
How about a family day out to one of the UK’s beautiful nature reserves? There are currently 224 national nature reserves in the UK, with a whopping total area of over 94,400 hectares to explore. How incredible is that? According to the Wildlife Trust, most UK residents live within a few miles of a nature reserve, so you’re never far from one of the top beauty spots. You can explore beautiful meadows, stunning moorland, jaw-dropping coastlines and majestic mountains, to name but a few. Pack a camera and capture some of those amazing landscapes, or grab a pair of binoculars and go looking for some of the UK’s migrating bird species or elusive mammals - the possibilities are endless!
Maybe you’ll be tempted to explore some of our incredible National Parks, like the New Forest, Peak District or Snowdonia. In the UK, National Parks cover a massive 10% of the total landmass and are your route to some of the most incredible sights and sounds. These large open spaces are full of campsites, pubs and hostels which makes them perfect for multi-day adventures. Enjoy a staycation this year and make some memories that will last a lifetime! Just make sure you pack correctly. You’ll need a backpack and a waterproof jacket at the very least. If you plan on staying for multiple days and making use of campsites, don’t forget to pack a tent and some cosy sleeping gear.
These Boots Are Made For Walking
When it comes to walking, the only piece of equipment you really need to worry about is your shoes. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that they fit correctly to prevent any nasty blisters or sores, so always double-check the size guide before purchasing.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about options. If you’re just doing short local walks or popping to the shops, pretty much any pair of shoes will serve you well, as long as you find them comfortable. If you plan to brave whatever the fickle UK weather throws your way, perhaps you should consider a pair of wellington boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Or, if you’re really putting the miles in, a set of dedicated walking shoes are probably the way to go. Boots like these are designed for all day comfort and often feature practical linings that are waterproof and breathable at the same time.
Whatever your next adventure, OnBuy has got you covered! From camping gear to energy bars, outdoor clothing to maps and navigation, our huge selection of outdoor essentials is packed with all the gear you need to explore the great outdoors in style. Browse our range now and prepare to get inspired for your next trip!
Why not convince your friends and family to join you on your walking adventure? You don’t need to go far to enjoy the benefits of walking and It’s a great excuse to spend time with your loved ones. How about exploring the woods together to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or taking a leisurely stroll down to the beach for some chakra-aligning yoga? You can even get the kids involved. While you’re getting your steps in, they can enjoy some time on their bikes or skateboards. Get on board with National Walking Month and make a positive change today!