Festival of Winter Walks
The Festival of Winter walks was started by the Ramblers charity and has been running for nearly 30 years from mid-December to January and what better reason is there to get outside than walking for your wellbeing this winter? This is a great opportunity to get more people walking, enjoying and exploring the British wintry landscape!
Who are the Ramblers?
Ramblers is a charity whose goal is to protect the ability of people to enjoy the sense of freedom and benefits that come from being outdoors on foot. They bring together people who enjoy walking and and who want to help protect and expand the i places that people go walking and their infrastructure1. The charity also promotes walking by organising groups for those who already walk, as well as those who are considering walking to support their wellbeing through physical activity. Ramblers Wellbeing Walks make it easier to start walking and stay active. Find out more about Wellbeing Walks and find a walk near you https://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/get-healthy/walking-for-health.aspx
How is walking good for health?
At Love Your Gut, we know that it’s the little things that matter most. Small changes to our lifestyle, moving more and connecting with people can contribute to our social health. https://loveyourgut.com/getting-gut-healthy/gut-active/
Walking is a great way to add some movement to your day and why not make it an opportunity to socialise too!
Benefits of walking for health, wellbeing and loving your gut
- Regular exercise is shown to support overall health and wellbeing in the long term3
- Walking is beneficial for cardiovascular fitness levels Walking is a low impact physical activity that can help maintaining activity with low impact on joints
- Walking in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels 2
- Group walking is a great way to feel part of a community4 which is beneficial for mental and physical health
- Being active is good for gut health and walking regularly can be a helpful way to contribute to regular bowel habits. Find out more about getting gut active here https://loveyourgut.com/getting-gut-healthy/gut-active/
Walk this Way
Now you know why walking is beneficial for your health and wellbeing, here are some quick tips to boost your motivation to walk
- Plan short walks to increase fitness levels gradually and add more steps to your day. What about a 10 minute lunchtime walk, or even awalking meeting.
- Take the stairs where possible!
- Find someone or a group to walk with https://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/get-healthy/walking-for-health.aspx
- Plan some walking into your commute, like using public transport with a short walk at either end of the journey
- Walk for fun on the weekend! There are plenty of paths, parks and countryside places to walk. Search for routes and walks near you https://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/routes-and-places-to-walk/paths-index.aspx?loc=d3b5e8aab79e4af8a86d57ebde8c9006 or if you are happy to travel further afield to find a great view here are some great ideas for stunning walking locations https://theoutdoorguide.co.uk/britains-favourite-walks/
- On holiday or want to explore a new city? https://citywalks.live/ is a great website for city walks around the world.
- The NHS has some great information to help with motivation and making walking a habit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/running-and-aerobic-exercises/walking-for-health/#:~:text=Sometimes%20overlooked%20as%20a%20form,150%20minutes%20of%20weekly%20exercise.
- Ramblers Charity https://www.ramblers.org.uk/ (sourced on 10/11/2022)
- Olafsdottir et al., 2020, Health benefits of walking in nature, Environment and Behavior, 52(3) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0013916518800798?casa_token=24lS_JE3c1wAAAAA%3A8z8Lw0y2kSPkUIIzmU9lJvs9x_q8JJ5w8v0KfnXAsMca_AIJmuN9D0kiYWF1Ii8RosBrBJn9u7uA
- Benefits of Exercise, NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-health-benefits/
Walking, Keeping Active, NHS inform(Sourced on 10/11/2022) https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/keeping-active/activities/walking