8 different types of walk to enjoy – whatever the weather!
Free, easy and with a host of benefits walking is not only good for our physical health its important for our mental health too
With lockdown easing more of us than ever are appreciating the chance to get out of the house for a walk. Be it a leisurely city stroll, an energetic hike, a catch up with friends or just a chance to reconnect with nature, there’s an ideal walk for everyone.
Take a look at 8 different types of mood-boosting walks:
Nordic or Pole Walking
Although hikers have used poles for decades, Nordic or Pole Walking is a Finnish origin total-body version of walking, using poles that are not planted in front of the walker but instead the walker is encouraged to push down on the poles to help propel themselves along. This method increases the use of muscles in the upper body.
Nordic Walking is becoming increasingly popular as it can be done by anybody, anywhere and does not require expensive equipment or clothing. Using Nordic Walking poles provides plenty of stability and so is also popular with people who suffer from joint pain.
The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ or ‘shinrin-yoku’ is gaining momentum in the UK. It is thought that spending time in a forest environment can boost a person’s immune system, as well as reduce blood pressure and lower stress.
We are lucky to have plenty of forests or wooded areas in the UK where you can connect with your surroundings.
If you prefer a walk with a purpose and are itching to put the ‘little grey cells’ to good use, then a self-guided treasure trail could be just the thing for you.
Use your sleuthing skills to crack clues and unlock stories from the past in hidden corners of villages, towns and cities around the UK.
Take your friends and family and before you know it you’ve walked a couple of miles, solved a mystery and had a great time visiting somewhere new!
Treasure Trails are affordable, a fun way to explore and there’s sure to be one near you.
Historical or Cultural walks
If history is your thing, then what better way to spend the day then going on a historical or cultural walk.
From crumbling castles to Roman relics, medieval streets to royal palaces the UK is steeped in history and whether you prefer a city or country-based walk there are plenty of historical walks to suit.
For those eager to make new friends after months of lockdown or just wanting to catch up with old ones, walking in the open air can help to repair our bodies and minds too.
Humans are naturally social beings so walking with a group can help to redevelop and strengthen a sense of community while improving fitness at the same time.
There are numerous walks to be found online if you are planning to meet with friends but if you are alone perhaps consider joining one of the many walking groups in the UK.
The Ramblers Association are nationwide and may have a group local to you.
Simple Country walks
It has been said that if there is a problem to work out then a good walk is sure to find the answer and studies do suggest that cognitive function is enhanced after exercise so there may be some truth in it!
The Great British Countryside is full of the most amazing walks some of which can be found at the Walking Britain site or The National Trust site so if it’s a gentle stroll or a 10 mile trek you’re after there is sure to be something for you.
Bird and Nature Walks
It may be that you like walking and are interested in nature but need a little help with identification. If that’s you then you may like to consider a guided walk.
The RSPB and The National Trust organise guided walks which help you to better know the birds and wildlife of an area. Contact them for details of walks in your area and don’t forget your binoculars!
Canal and River Walks
A waterside ramble is enjoyable whatever the time of year. Canal towpaths, in particular, are generally level and accessible and there is little chance of getting lost.
Walking beside the water in a town or city is just as interesting and rewarding as in the countryside. The diversity of our watery locations in the UK rewards us with a mix of wildlife, architecture and boats.
No matter where you live you’re sure to find a canal or river walk near you, visit the Canal and River Trust site for some interesting locations.
Where do you enjoy walking? Are you looking forward to discovering new places?
Melina - Assistant Editor
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