Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to get fit – and offers an excellent way to enjoy a holiday with friends or family.
If you are keen to book a walking holiday, or have a long distance trail planned, pledge to get a little fitter and enjoy more walking. Here we bring you a guide to getting fitter for a walking holiday in 2017.
Walking has a number of physical benefits including improved cardiovascular and muscular health, as well as weight loss. Walking has also been shown to reduce the chances of depression and to fight dementia.
In the long winter days, especially at the start of the year in the UK and northern Europe, walking can be a great way to boost feel-good hormones. Even just 20 to 30 minutes of daylight while walking can be a huge mood improver. As we move into spring and summer, the lighter nights are a natural motivator to get out there!
One of the most common excuses for avoiding exercise is a lack of time. But there are many different ways to squeeze a bit of walking into your everyday life.
It’s important to start with easy walks and to build up your mileage carefully. Even 15 minutes of walking a day, three times per week, to start with will be beneficial and you can increase this by around 10% each session each week.
Sometimes it’s the thought of getting up to go out for a walk that stops you in your tracks. Here are a few tips for motivation:
One of the most frequent questions for people who are hoping to book a walking holiday is, “How fit do I need to be?”
The answer is: “It depends on your choice of walking holiday.”
Walking holidays can range from easy going walks of a few hours each day and drive and hikes to far more energetic and challenging hiking holidays. Macs Adventure sell walking holiday to suit all fitness levels but the more you’ve walked beforehand the more you’ll enjoy your holiday.
If you plan to go on a walking holiday that requires lots of hill climbs and long days on your feet it’s important that you have built up your walking mileage in the months before the trip.
The rule of thumb is to start within your comfort zone and then to increase your effort and mileage by about 10% each week.
Aim to walk three times a week, perhaps with two shorter walks mid-week and a longer walk at lunchtime. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to get fit.
When walking to get fit make sure you wear the walking boots or shoes that you plan to take on holiday. You can wear trainers for some of the walks but it’s important to wear walking boots and walk on similar terrain if you are heading off for an off-the-beaten-track hill or mountain walking holiday.
We know it might seem like an obvious thing to say but not everyone does this. Wearing in your legs and your footwear are both as important as each other.
Now all you need to do is decide which walking holiday will best suit you – and do a little bit of training towards it.
A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she’s not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she’ll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.