Health Benefits of Walking
The health benefits of walking are widely known. What better way to keep fit than to get out in the area you live in or alternatively a drive out to the countryside. As it is low impact exercise what better way to get and keep fit.
Regular walkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. They live longer and get mental health and spiritual benefits. Find out about the many health benefits of walking.
Recommended amount of weekly exercise
• Adults should do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity, five days a week. You don't have to do the whole 30 minutes in one go it can be split into shorter sessions throughout the day.
• The activity can be a 'lifestyle activity' e.g. walking to the shops or taking the dog out, or structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these. But it does need to be of at least moderate intensity, making you just out of breath.
One of my favourite facts about walking is that you burn as many calories walking a mile than you do running a mile. How can that be? As it takes longer to walk the mile you therefore have longer doing exercise and therefore you have a longer period burning calories.
Walking is therefore the most accessible form of exercise all you need is a good pair of shoes. You don’t need to go over the top, if you are walking locally a good pair of flat shoes or trainers are completely acceptable for walking in your local community. Why not go for a walk from your front door.
Alternatively if you want to head into the countryside you will need some essential equipment and other things which you may want to take with you.
Clothing and Equipment for countryside walks
Dress for the conditions and please be prepared for rain, it is Northumberland after all. A quick check of the local weather forecast in the morning will help you decide what to wear and take with you.
Walking equipment - Essentials
- Walking boots or walking shoes and comfortable socks (why not try out some Capricorn Mohair Socks).
- No denim jeans, walking trousers are best.
- A waterproof jacket and over trousers.
- Hat and gloves and/ or a sunhat for sunny days.
- Sun cream or sun block.
- Personal first aid kit (don’t forget blister plasters).
- Any personal medication that you are currently using, clearly labelled and easily accessible in the top lid pocket of rucksack is the usual advice.
- Water to keep you hydrated.
- Extra layers, many thin layers are better than one thick one.
- A picnic lunch and some snacks.
- A plastic survival bag is worth its weight in gold for all sorts of uses, everyone should carry one in the bottom of their sack.
- A small rucksack to carry it all in. Please remember many rucksacks are not waterproof, so put your items in plastic bags.
- Ordnance Survey Map and ideally your Shepherds Walk.
Walking equipment - Other things you may fancy taking with you.
- A camera (why not e-mail your walk pictures to Shepherds Walks).
- Walking poles
- Eye protection - sun glasses or safety glasses/goggles as appropriate for the conditions.
- Mosquito net for certain locations at particular seasons e.g. Kielder Forest & Kielder Water.
Try and take enough equipment for all eventualities, but don’t weigh yourself down with a heavy rucksack as often this can totally sap any energy you have.
When walking becomes a part of your everyday life you will feel so much better and get out explore and enjoy the superb countryside we have in the region.