5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Walking
Improves health against heart disease, improves sleep, weight loss, improved immunity, stress relief, boosts creativity and feels good – the benefits of walking in beautiful scenery like the Lake District are endless. We thought we’d share 5 of our favourite ways of taking the benefits of walking to the max.
So, we’re not talking about racing through Grizedale Forest until you start seeing stars, but walking anywhere in the Lake District if you look out for them, you will see natural obstacles.
If there’s a fallen tree, why not step over it, or weave in and out of a line of trees or large boulders. Rather than taking the bridge, are there safe stepping stones instead? And find short inclines, where you can climb to enjoy the vantage point and get the body working harder too. Try switching pace also – you can use natural landmarks as goals for changing walking speed.
Adding obstacles not only makes walking more interesting, but it will reduce muscle fatigue caused by using the same muscles for several hours. Walking on an incline, of which there are a few in the Lake District (!), gets the heart pumping faster and burns a lot more calories too.
We all know that the body rejuvenates itself when resting and a good day out walking will certainly help you get some shut-eye. Make sure you reward your body with quality sleep, however. It is recommended that you give your body two nights a week alcohol-free as research indicates that alcohol consumption significantly reduces sleep quality. So, for one night on your holiday put the Chablis away 4 hours before heading for a slumber and you will wake feeling the full benefit that quality sleep after walking can deliver.
Walking in the Rain
Just like the subtle notes of a good bottle of single grape, the Lake District’s woodlands are full bodied and tempting places for the senses. Enjoy a stroll after or during rainfall and this experienced is unmissable. You become more aware of the natural shelter from the canopy above as the sound of the rain echoes above. And at this time of year in particular, the green’s become extraordinarily vibrant and the earthy smells of moss, ferns and bluebells become bolder.
Remember to take drinking water with you on all of your walks, but in particular as you walk in the rain or alongside a river as you’ll feel dehydration more acutely.
When walking in the rain, your skin will also be enjoying a natural hydration. Regular walking in high humidity helps keep the skin supple, fresh and young. What more need we say.
The Lake District has almost as many superb country pubs as it does peaks, and we generally like to plan a walk with a pub at the end of half way around. For example, we like the walk between Little Langdale and Elterwater, where you will find great real ales pubs at either end. The there is a pint of Bluebird Bitter brewed and served at The Black Bull, at the foot of Coniston Old Man.
“2 ½ bottles of wine a week could save your life” or “having a pint of beer after going to the gym could be the key to a long healthy life” – almost every New Year there’s some new research about alcohol and good health. We’re not sure how much truth there are in these statements, but we know a real ale or cider tastes fantastic after a good days rambling.
Learning to adjust your stride and use your arms whilst walking, you can burn 46% more calories than from walking naturally, according to Nordic Walking experts. For walkers suffering with lower back aches, shoulder and neck tension and knee joint pain, learning to Nordic Walk could really pay dividends.
Find out more about Lakelovers Nordic Walking Courses or get in touch with us on 015394 88848 to arrange 4 hours Intensive tuition over 2 sessions for £45.
Nordic Walking can be a skill that you learn and use yourself, or it also introduces the wonderful social side of walking in groups. There are mental health benefits associated with walking in groups and often we find ourselves covering a lot more distance when nattering away as we walk.
Now, we’re off for a walk. Hope to see you there.