My parents came over the other day; they’ve missed their granddaughters incredibly over the lockdown period. Now that restrictions have eased somewhat, we make the most of the time.
My eldest prefers to be locked away in the house, creatively writing or drawing her latest piece of work. My youngest adores being outside, especially if there is water with which to play. Instead of allowing them to embrace their preferred passions, I decided to gently nudge them to get out of the house. I made some lunch and packed it up, grabbing some water, insect repellent and my mask (I bought mine, but here is a fab tutorial if you’d like make your own), just in case. We then began a little trek through the fields to a neighbouring village. It was lovely. Almost five and a half miles of excitement as well as a little moaning about legs and feet aching.
It got me thinking about walking, whether you follow a specific circular route or just go for a wander, and its many benefits. Here are seven of them for you:
- Physical activity
It is essential to add in some physical activity to our lives. Being inactive can lead to all sorts of health problems. Just half an hour a day, several days a week can have many benefits for your body. Whether you are hoping to lose weight or simply improve your fitness, both are possible by building walking into your daily routine.
- Mental health
It isn’t just your body which benefits from walking. Increasing your heart rate for a sustained period leads to the release of happy chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Even if you feel shattered afterwards, you will be smiling, I’m sure. Walking can also result in lowered levels of anxiety.
- Quality time
Whether you choose to walk alone or with friends or family members, like me, it can give you much-needed quality time with yourself or them. “Do you remember when…?” was a common phrase we heard on our walk, reminiscing about everything from holidays to toy talent shows. If alone, you may have time to process some issues you currently have or the chance to think about possible solutions.
If you live near a green space, you will undoubtedly experience nature in some form on your walk. We found butterflies, ladybirds, hares, sheep and horses as we were trotting along. Looking and listening for signs of other types of wildlife was educational too, with dog footprints being spotted and a grasshopper loudly chirping.
We stumbled upon the ruins of a church as we were walking. It led to lots of discussion about why it had been abandoned, so educational as well as interesting. Even the placement of road signs and post boxes proved to be conversation starters.
Parents: take note! Walks can help you to sleep better, your children included. If they are struggling at the moment because of the heat or simply as a result of the massive change in lifestyle at present, this might be worth a try!
Walking used to be a necessity for many. These days, it is a choice. However, this option has a detrimental effect on the world around us. Rather than hopping in the car to get to the local shop because that is convenient for you, try walking there instead. Reap all the benefits!
Do you enjoy walking? Where is your favourite place to visit? We would love to hear from you and see some of the snaps you have taken.