One thing I love is going on a long walk in the countryside. Growing up, we went on holidays in the Yorkshire Dales every year, which I probably didn’t appreciate enough at the time. Now, when I have a free weekend, I like to pack my car up, jump in and find a new route for the day. There are so many reasons to go walking, it doesn’t even matter if you go on your own. Just get out there, leave your screens at home, your iPhones in your pocket and take in the views of the British landscapes around you.
Reasons to Go Walking
Clear your mind
For me, the best thing about going on long walks is to clear your head. The everyday stresses of work and life in general can be so tiring. It’s great to just get outside and only have to concentrate on your route and where you’re placing your feet. Likewise, if you need to make a decision on something, a hike can help you do that. You have space and time to sort your head out and practise some positive mental health exercises. It’s amazing the amount you can clarify for yourself doing this.
I’m all about setting myself goals. It’s the reason I run and like to work out; I’m in competition with myself and only have my own standards to conquer. If you’re going walking as a form of exercise, challenge yourself. Walk further than last time or try a more difficult route. You’ll feel great afterwards and probably take in some beautiful sights.
It can be an easy way to exercise. I find that walking is generally fairly easy and doesn’t take as much effort as a session in the gym or at a class. You can still work up your heart rate and hit your fat burning zone but without dripping in sweat if it’s not too hot. Plus, you can end your walk in a country pub with a pint and a Sunday roast without feeling guilty. If that’s not one of the best reasons to go walking, I don’t know what is.
See beautiful landscapes
I’ll be honest, I often forget how beautiful the British landscape can be. After snowboarding on the snow-covered Rockies and hiking through the Smokey Mountains, nothing can really compare to that. However, we have some pretty beautiful landscapes in the UK. I would argue that the Yorkshire Dales are my favourite but I know others love the Lake District. Wales has some beautiful places in the Brecon Beacons too and I’d love to go to the very north in Scotland.
Unfortunately, I’m not blessed with a mountain of money. I can’t afford to just pack up and go on holiday for a weekend but that doesn’t stop me getting in my car and going hiking. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a change of scenery and visit somewhere that you’re unfamiliar with. I love to travel more than anything so that’s probably one of the biggest reasons to go walking for me.
It’s a cheap day out
Apart from travelling to an area, there aren’t too many costs when it comes to walking. If you’re going into hills or on stretches of fields, you’re not going to be running into many shops or places to buy. The only thing you’ll have to budget for is petrol/trains to get there and a nice meal and pint at the end of it. Obviously, these are extras but they’re nice to end the day with. Take snacks or a picnic along with you if you want to save even more cash.
Everyone is friendly
One of the things I love about walkers is that everyone is friendly. They’ll always say hello as you pass each other unlike in big cities. The first time I went on my own, I bumped into a big group of about fifteen family and friends hiking together. I ended up walking with them for about twenty minutes and just chatting before overtaking and heading on my way. If you’re more of a solo walker, it’s nice to have some friendly faces along the route just so you have the peace of mind that you’re going the right way!
There are more than a few reasons to go walking but my favourite is for your mental health. It’s great to have a reset and just clear your mind whether you’re on your own or with friends. If you’re not too good at working out, hiking is an easy way to burn a thousand calories easily. I tend to use the OS Maps app to find routes before going and to also track my hikes using my watch. It’s a little glitchy but not bad for off-road walks. You can also download the maps before heading out in case you don’t have any service. This isn’t a sponsored post, just a little tip and suggestion from what I’ve tried and tested!
Where are you favourite places to go walking?