Reasons for Walking

Walking is free and relatively easy to fit into your daily routine. All you need to start walking is a sturdy pair of walking shoes and suitable clothes.
Walking can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels such as:-

  • Help maintain or lose weight and improve muscle tone.
  • Strengthen your heart.
  • Ease joint pain by lubricating and strengthening the muscles that support the joints.
  • Boost immune function reducing risk of getting colds and flu.
  • Boost energy levels.
  • Improve mood, helping to keep you calm and warding off depression
  • Get a better night’s sleep.
  • Keeping active which may extend your life.

Here are some things you can do whilst out walking.

Think – walking tends to soothe the mind and body so you can think through, analyse and solve any problems. Plan tasks or hobbies.

Day Dream – allows you to get lost in your own world helping to explore new ideas, promote creativity, and improve memory and learning. Day dream as you walk, stand or sit to take in the view.

Learn – how the environment changes through the seasons, learn the names trees, plants, flowers, insects, birds and other wildlife you see on your route.
Perhaps take a camera or a mobile phone to photograph what you see so you can identify it once home. Various apps can be downloaded onto your phone allowing immediate identification.
Discover new walking routes to prevent boredom. It need not be far from your usual daily route but this can put a ‘spring in your step’ as you make simple new discoveries such as an unusual tree formation, a stream, a view – even better with a bench on which to sit to appreciate the views, the sunrise or sunset.

Destination – whether a short or a long walk it is wise to tell someone where you are going. If a long walk plan the route and time you expect it will take – remember to build in break stops. Tell someone your plans but better still leave a written note. If your plans change try to phone to let someone know. Do not venture into remote or wild areas without additionally thoroughly planning your route, taking a map, correct clothing, food and drink.

Enjoy/Appreciate – where you are walking through the changing seasons and use your senses to note the changes. Look at the colours, listen to the breeze, the babbling brook, the humming insects, smell the plants and freshly cut grass, touch flowers (but do not pick) and notice the different textures on tree barks and plant leaves. You will be amazed how much better you will feel from these experiences.

Walk with others – there is nothing wrong with walking alone however it is good to walk with others to chat, to appreciate their company and lift spirits.

Walk with others for charity – benefits your health and the charity benefits from your donations.

Walk with others for the Community – unfortunately some people do not respect the environment and leave litter and rubbish behind. Perhaps take a bag and gloves with you and pick up waste. Put in a rubbish bin or if possible take home to re-cycle. Do not pick up ‘needles’ with your hands.
Join like-minded people to take part in a Community Clean Up. Before you go, check if equipment is provided.
Remember litter is not only unsightly but it can be harmful to wildlife.

Respect the environment you walk in – follow The Countryside Code -
The Countryside Code: advice for countryside visitors - GOV.UK (

Walking with a Dog – not only is the exercise good for you but also for the dog. As you meet other dog walkers you will probably have a chat and make new friends.
For safe and happy walks with your dog, and to avoid causing problems for others, follow the Dog Walking Code - The Dog Walking Code (

Walking with children – usually children will walk happily if the walk is made fun. Make a list of things collect such as a brown leaf, a feather or a pine cone. They could look at and smell flowers, trees and leaves, even find a spider’s web, jump over fallen branches, paddle in puddles, count gates, pick wild berries such as blackberries, and make a stick maze from twigs found on the ground. Even a nature hunt or trail with clues could be planned.

Foraging – There is a wide variety of plants and berries you can pick and eat alongside public footpaths and in woods but you need to know what you are looking for and what is safe to eat. Only take what you intend to eat. Stay on paths, do not damage or uproot plants or the area in which you are foraging. Do not pick from overhanging branches on private property!

The 20th Anniversary programme of walks meets many of these reasons for walking. We hope the walks you choose to do will give you a great experience & much pleasure. Please respect the environment you walk in.

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