We all know January is the month of new starts, healthy habits and moving more, but when February comes around, our momentum begins to run out and we fall back into old routines.
Walking is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, get your steps in and explore our beautiful landscapes. Here’s our guide to getting into walking this February and beyond 🥾
The Right Gear
Without the correct equipment, walking can be uncomfortable and therefore unenjoyable. The right clothing can transform your walking experience, here are our recommendations for the right gear:
Shoes: Choosing the right walking shoes is crucial for comfort, support, and injury prevention. The best walking shoes for you may depend on your foot shape or walking routes. Some popular and highly recommended walking shoe brands are New Balance, Hoka, and Salomon 👟
Coats: Due to our unpredictable weather, a windproof and waterproof coat or jacket is the best option for walking in the UK. Brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and Columbia offer excellent options. Look for coats with breathable materials and features like adjustable hoods and cuffs 🧥
Bags: To stay hydrated and full of energy, it’s always a good idea to take a backpack on longer walks and hikes. When choosing a walking backpack, ensure it fits well and distributes weight evenly to avoid discomfort. Osprey is well-known for its quality backpacks 🎒
Now that you’re geared up, you’re good to get walking!
Find Your Trail
It may sound obvious, but knowing where you’re going is the first step to a successful walk. Utilising apps can help you find your perfect routes depending on your mood.
Whether you’re after a longer hike or a short breath of fresh air, below are our recommended apps for finding your ideal walk:
- AllTrails: AllTrails is a versatile app that provides a wide range of walking and hiking trails, with user reviews and the ability for users to track their routes and share experiences 🤳
- Strava: Strava allows users to plan and record routes, track progress, and connect with a community of outdoor enthusiasts 📲
- Ramblr: Allowing users to record and share their outdoor adventures, Ramblr includes features like GPS tracking, photo sharing, and the ability to create detailed trip journals ⌚️
With so many beautiful trails to explore, we’d love to see your favourites.
If you’re not someone who walks regularly, a four hour hike might seem daunting. Start slow and set achievable goals so you can track your progress. Here’s how to keep motivated and achieve your walking goals 👇
- Incremental Goals: Break down your overall goal into smaller, more manageable milestones. For example, if your long-term goal is to walk 10,000 steps per day, start by aiming for 5,000 steps and gradually increase.
- Consider Frequency, Duration, and Intensity: Focus on how often you walk, how long each walk is, and how briskly you walk. Adjust these factors based on your fitness level and available walking time.
- Include Variety: Keep things interesting by incorporating different types of walks. This could include hiking, walking a brand new route, or bringing a friend. Variety can help prevent boredom and engage different muscle groups.
Remember to keep track of your progress so you can see how far you’ve come 📝
If you tend to walk alone, a good playlist or podcast can keep you company whilst you explore your routes. Below are our favourite podcasts to enjoy whilst out in nature:
- BBC Radio 4’s “The Infinite Monkey Cage”: Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince explore scientific concepts, often featuring guest experts 🐵
- BBC Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs”: Guests from various fields share the soundtrack of their lives by selecting eight tracks, a book, and a luxury item they would take with them to a desert island 🏝️
- “No Such Thing As A Fish”: The QI researchers share interesting and amusing facts they’ve come across during the week, covering a wide range of topics 🐟
You’ve got the gear, you’ve found your trail, and you’ve set your goals – now it’s time to pop your headphones in and get out into nature ✨