By: Blonde Two
Most of us would admit that walking is good for both our physical and mental health but we would, if we were being honest, also admit that it is quite easy to find excuses not to go out for a walk. For this week’s Tuesday’s Ten we Blondes have 10 different ways to fire your walking enthusiasm and keep you walking your way through 2019.
Set yourself a walking challenge
Challenges only work if they are achievable so don’t aim too high here. This worked for me with my 50 nights sleeping challenge last year. It never really occurred to me that I couldn’t do it, I just had to keep on schedule. How about joining in with Zoe Holmes’ One Hour Outside, taking part in Country Walking’s Walk 1000 Miles challenge or even setting a challenge of your own.
Keep a photo record of your walks
You don’t have to use social media to collect photos. Images can provide a great memento of a year spent outside and can be presented in different ways. Try a montage for each month, an outdoor selfie collection or presenting your photos according to colour. Don’t forget to back your images up, it would be really annoying to get to November and lose them all.
Go out of season spotting
We all know how to look for daffodils in spring or holly in winter but spotting plants and sometimes animals that are a bit out of season can present more of a challenge and be really good fun. A week or so ago Blonde One and I found a hedge with autumn leaves, winter berries and spring catkins.
Forage for your supper
Foraging for edibles isn’t just about understanding mushrooms (definitely don’t forage for these unless you do). There are far safer and equally tasty ways to collect food outdoors. Blackberries, elderflowers, nettles and even seaweed can all add to your culinary expertise. The information is out there, do a bit of reading and get creative with your cooking.
Collect something on your walks
Collecting can be physical and require a bag, for example fir cones, different leaves or kindling sticks, or it can be in the form of a tick list. Get your map out and collect some trig points, summits or even strange holes in the ground. It doesn’t really matter what you collect, it is having a goal that will help you get out on that walk.
Use those walking statistics
I have to admit that resorting to electronics isn’t everyone’s favourite method of walking encouragement but technological gadgets do remove the opportunity for exercise-level self-delusion. By setting yourself a daily steps or walking goal you can make sure that your walk achieves at least one of its goals, namely to improve your fitness.
Visit the walking alphabet
Walking your way through the alphabet may sound childish but it can also be enormous fun. For example, I live in South Devon and from home could walk my way to Anstey’s Cove, Babbacombe and then Cockington (no sniggering!) I could, however, be a bit more creative than that and walk until I find some ants, until I find some bathing beauties and then until I find some cockerels (I said no sniggering!) If I was really brave, I could walk dressed as a mad aunty (I am one), a bald bandersnatch (I am not one) and a cocky cockatoo (sniggering now allowed!)
Find some local walking loops
This one is one of my walking ambitions for 2019. Local walking is often looked down upon and seen as less exciting than mountains or coast paths but, for many of us, regular walking is only possible if we do it near to home. Following a footpath through fields, villages or even across cities can often be more navigationally challenging than walking up a big hill. It doesn’t really matter how long it is but a local walking loop needs to be circular, navigable and include points of interest.
Go on a cafe crawl (walk)
Pub crawls are all very well but pubs can be unreliable in their supply of bacon sandwiches, cheeses chips and decent cake. Cafes, on the other hand, have plenty of these as well as generally larger cups of tea. One word of warning however, put your cafe in at the middle or end (or both) of your walk; if you start off with the cake, it is all to easy to move on to the cheesy chips and end up munching your way straight back to the car!