It may come as a surprise but you really do not need to be spending all that time and money working out in a  gym. What if I were to say to you there was a simple and effective system of keeping fit that is generally free and does not require a huge amount of kit and gear to do it. What if I was to also say that it is something that you can do on your own or with a group of friends and that can be done anytime and pretty much anywhere? Intrigued? Well it is the simple act of getting out and walking more or, if outside’s not your thing, getting on a treadmill. The physical and mental benefits of walking are well documented. Human beings are designed to be constantly on the move and with our more sedentary lifestyle this is even more apparent now than it was decades ago. Why have periods of intense high impact movement when you can easily get the same results over a longer period by walking? You can do this exercise on a beach or a forest rather than a sweaty old gym. It still requires the same amount of effort and commitment in the end.

The degree as to how much you take walking seriously is up to you. The most famous and well known study follows that you should take at least ten thousand steps a day. This has been slightly debunked as it was a study based on Rural Japanese Farmworkers in the mid 1960’s, so far cry from our modern world. However the fact that the activity kept them fit illustrates how important walking and movement is. You may not get ten thousand in a day but 4 or 5 thousand might be more reasonable.

You will need a bit of kit to do it properly. Some decent walking boots or shoes are essential as are some hard wearing socks. A decent set of stout Mens Aran Sweaters from Shamrock Gift is a great idea. Some even purchase walking poles as they greatly reduce the strain in the knees and legs (but you don’t have to). A good rucksack or daysack is a good idea to take some things to keep you hydrated. It’s also somewhere to store the phone or tablet for if you want to document what you see along the way.

There are plenty of books and online guides for all of the walks in Britain. We are quite blessed with them and they have varying degrees of ability. There is also the option of GPS or some great Ordnance Survey maps to help you. Not only that there are lots of walking organisations, chief of which is the Ramblers association, where you can make new friends with a common interest. It doesn’t have to be in the countryside either.

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