After a season of indulgence, the New Year often injects fresh motivation to start new habits and reach goals. A mission to get fit and healthy is high on the resolution list, which sees us dusting off our exercise gear and reaching for our hiking boots.
These new habits should be for life, not just for (post) Christmas, and need to be introduced in a way that doesn’t feel unsustainable or overwhelming, so there’s no reverting to old routines after a few weeks of commitment.
So, to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’re launching our ‘Stepcation’ campaign to inspire, motivate and encourage you to walk regularly, so that your new and healthier lifestyle sticks around beyond January.
“Our community has been inspiring people to walk for 20 years now; sharing stories about their journeys and the positive impact that walking has had on their mental health and wellbeing. Step by step we will be looking to support as many people as possible to stay active.” - Neil Lapping, Founder
Is walking good for you?
Great question. Studies show that walking between 7.5k-10k steps a day can be extremely beneficial for your health, here’s how...
Nature nurtures – stretching your legs among nature is a great antidote for stress. It relaxes, enhances metal wellbeing, tops up your Vitamin D and fills your lungs with fresh air.
Mood booster – exercise releases endorphins, a chemical which helps block out pain, reduce stress and leave you feeling happier.
Increase energy – yes you read right, doing exercise fills your energy tank, leaving you feeling more productive and motivated.
Sweet dreams – adding activity to your daily routine helps improve your quality of sleep, so you’ll wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
Overall health – regular and daily walks help build stamina, burn excess calories, make your heart healthier, and contribute to good mental health and wellbeing.
“We know through the work we do just how powerful physical activity can be as a tool for improving mental health and cannot advocate it enough for positive mental wellbeing.” - Neil Harris, CEO, Sport in Mind, the UK’s leading mental health sports charity.
It’s estimated that 45% of American adults own an exercise tracker of some kind, with 92% using them for health and fitness reasons, meaning it’s now easier than ever to keep track of your steps. So, what are you waiting for? Step to it!
How to get started on your walking journey
Begin with short brisk walks during your lunch break or to start your day – you should feel slightly out of breath.
When that starts to feel easier, increase your walking time by at least 2 minutes, then 5 minutes and so on.
Before you know it, you’ll be totally hooked on walking in nature (like we are!).
Our walking route step counts
We’ve done a bit of digging and worked out roughly how many steps it takes to complete some of our popular walks, to show just how achievable your walking goals are!*
Route: West Highland Way Highlights
Discover towering mountains, tranquil lochs, and rushing rivers as you walk from Drymen to Fort William.
Duration: 7 days (5 days of walking)
Total steps:166,966 (33,400 steps per day)
Calories: approx. 988 per day
Equivalent: an hour of kayaking, boxing, scuba diving or circuit training.
Check out this West Highland Way trip
Route: South Downs Way Short Break
Walk the iconic white chalk sea cliffs of the Seven Sisters, explore medieval villages and visit historic attractions along the way.
Duration: 4 days
Total steps: 100,743 (25,186 per day)
Calories: approx. 745 per day
Equivalent: a morning of errands like doing the food shop, deep cleaning the house and washing the car (I know what we’d rather be doing!).
Check out this South Downs Way Short Break
Route: Walking Portofino and the Cinque Terre
An unforgettable journey, walking village to village, alongside lemon groves and vineyard-lined pathways.
Duration: 8 days (5 days of walking)
Total steps: 137,125 (27,425 per day)
Calories: approx. 811 per day
Equivalent: an hour of playing soccer, rowing, swimming or skipping.
Check out this Walking Portofino to Cinque Terre trip
Route: Dingle Way
National Geographic Traveller voted south-west Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula as “the most beautiful place on earth”.
Duration: 8 days (6 days of walking)
Total steps: 203,958 (33,993 per day)
Calories: approx. 1000 per day
Equivalent: an hour of jumping jacks or 4 hours of shopping.
Check out this Dingle Way trip
Route: Walking the Catalan Coast
Explore coastal paths with views of the glittering Mediterranean, and inland routes through the Catalan countryside.
Duration: 8 days (5 days of walking, 1 day sightseeing)
Total steps: 86,694 (14,449 per day)
Calories: 427 per day
Equivalent to: 30mins of high intensity interval training (HIIT), 40 mins of Zumba or climbing the stairs.
Check out this Walking the Catalan Coast trip
*Step counts are based on Macs Adventure employees’ personal step counts and are a guideline only.