I'm determined not to let the weather get the better of me though and really want to get out and about and enjoy the fresh air. If you take the time to open your eyes there are little things on your walk that will notice that will make you smile and instantly lift your mood.
The Benefits of Regular Walking
Walking has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type II diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. The NHS recommend walking 10,000 steps per day for maximum benefit which can burn between 400-600 calories per day.
Enjoying a weekend walk in the forest
Walking can help chase those January blues away and benefits your mood by:-
- Promoting the release of endorphins (happy hormones)
- Releases Adrenaline (which naturally lifts our mood)
- Helping you to get a better night's sleep
How to get started
You don't need any specialist equipment to get started, however I would recommend a pedometer to help you keep on track, a small backpack (this one is only £5) packed with a bottle of water/snack and a decent pair of trainers that are supportive and don't cause blisters.
You can walk anywhere - I enjoy a 3 mile round trip with the kids when I walk them to school in the morning and enjoy walking with the family at the weekend too. Sometimes it's nice to take myself out for 30 minutes for a bit of me time in the middle of the day too. After just 15 minutes in the great outdoors I already start to feel more alive.
Taking it further
If you wish to take walking further, a lovely thing to do is to join a local walking group. There are groups for all levels and the groups are a fantastic way to discover your local area and meet new people.
Walking can be challenging too and when you complete a particular route is fantastic for your self esteem. This spring, myself and Steve are going to attempt the walk along Hadrian's Wall to Sycamore Gap. I've read that it's slightly challenging at times but I think that the amazing view will definitely be worth it and one of those moments that will stay with me forever.
Image Credit - Michael at Vindolanda
What do you think? Next time you're feeling a little glum and look outside, pull on your trainers and take a 15-30 minute walk. Open your eyes, look around and I guarantee you will return feeling refreshed and happy :-)