National Walking Month
You may not know this, but May is National Walking month. As we are getting into the full swing of spring, with longer day, lighter nights and lighter mornings, it’s a great time to get outside.
Walking has great health benefits for all of us, and the NHS recommends a brisk, daily ten-minute walk as part of a healthy lifestyle. Walking is good for both our mental and physical health.
Many of us have stayed indoors far more than we may have done in the past, over the last two years, so getting out and walking can only be good for us!
7 Benefits of walking helps…
- to maintain a healthy weight and can help us lose body fat, as you burn calories.
- to prevent or manage various conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure cancer and type 2 diabetes.
- improve our cardiovascular fitness.
- strengthen our bones and muscles, which is important as we age.
- improve muscle endurance
- to increase our energy levels, and in the long term helps you feel less tired.
- to reduce stress. Being able to block out worries and concentrate on walking, and looking at the world around you helps to lift our mood.
I walk my dog Jess, at least twice a day, along the canal near our home. It is actually very beautiful, and I love seeing all of the changing seasons reflected in the nature around me. Plus, however wet or cold it is, I do actually feel better for walking each day.
My five favourite walks:
- Wilts & Berks Canal. By its name, this canal runs through Wiltshire and Berkshire, including Swindon and Royal Wootton Bassett, although at present the two parts of the canal are not joined up. The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust are working to restore, conserve and improve the route. There are some beautiful canal walks in different areas of Wiltshire.
- The cycle path/railway path walk from Old Town Swindon down to Wichelstowe all under a leafy canopy. I often stop en route to take pictures of the beautiful foliage, birds, deer, swans and other creatures I see.
- Barbury Castle near Wroughton, which is out across the Ridgeway walk. Barbury Castle is an ancient Iron Age hill fort (one of several found along the Ridgeway walk), is a great place to walk, but very busy at weekends. There are panoramic views that take in the Marlborough Downs and the Vale of Pewsey.
- Caen Hill Locks, Devizes, can park half way up at Rowde, (£3.50 a day) and can stroll up or down, several pubs, walk into Devizes town centre. The locks are one of the longest, continuous flight of locks in the country – a total of 29! There is a rise of 237 feet, over two miles.
- Coate Water Country Park in Swindon has a nice circular route, which is not as busy as Lydiard Park. Coate Water was originally the feeder reservoir for the Wilts and Berks canal that flowed through Swindon in the 19th It first opened in 1822 and was known as Swindon’s Playground. After the demise of the canal system in the early 1900’s, the park was purchased by Swindon Corporation.
If you take any of these walks, keep a look out for me and Jess!
Next week I’m blogging about why creating a business around my family has worked.