There’s no getting away from the excesses of Christmas – or perhaps there is. While over-indulging on food and drink is almost inevitable during the festive season, the Forestry Commission has come up with a new Festive Fit campaign to help us to burn off the worst of the calories. With so many forests on our doorsteps in the UK, Forestry Commission England is suggesting a calorie-burning walk, run or bike ride in a local woods or forest.
Calorie burning walks
The walks are based on the average person walking at a speed of 3mph. Christmas candy cane: Walk 1 mile Trail idea: Route to Health sculpture trail at Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire Why?: This is the perfect trail to get you started on your festive fitness programme. The trail offers a gentle walk complete with unique art pieces. The works of art are themed around health issues and are designed to create interest in exercise, relaxation, mental health and a healthy heart. Cannock Two fondant chocolates: Walk 1.5 miles Trail idea: Seasonal trail at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Gloucestershire Why?: This is a beautiful route that is so often sculpted by the winter season. Burn Christmas calories while taking in the winter highlights of a fabulous collection of 15,000 trees and shrubs. Weston Birt A prawn cocktail starter: Walk 3 miles Trail idea: Bolderwood Radnor Trail in the New Forest, Hampshire Why?: A lovely trail that explores modern and ancient woodland. Follow the trail right to the end to reach a viewing platform where you may spot fallow deer. New Forest Slice of Christmas ham served with roasted parsnips: Walk 3.5 miles Trail idea: Seat How Trail at Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria Why?: As England’s only true mountain forest, Whinlatter takes calorie burning to a whole new level and with glorious views to reward you at the end of your walk. Seat How Trail head sup to a height of 500m above sea level with great views over the Lake District lakes and fells. Whinlatter A slice of nut roast, gravy and veg: Walk 5 miles Trail idea: Dreadwater Walking Trail at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland. Why?: This uphill climb rewards with calorie burn and spectacular panoramic views. On a clear day you can see all the way from Kielder to the Pentland Hills, near Edinburgh, and to the North Sea coast. Keilder
Calorie burning runs and cycles
These outings are based on running at a pace of 5mph and cycling at a moderate speed of 12 to 14mph. Two pieces of Turkish delight: Run 1 mile Trail idea: Oak Walk at Abbot’s Wood, East Sussex Why?: The Oak route is a great trail for a gentle jog through the oak tress of Abbot’s Wood. Abbotswood Gingerbread cookie: Run 2 miles Trail idea: Red Route at Great Wood, Somerset Why?: A great beginner’s route offering gradual gradients through Great Wood’s cathedral-like Douglas fir trees. Great Wood A slice of Christmas cake: Cycle 8 miles Trail idea: The Green Cycle Route at Dalby Forestry, Yorkshire Why?: A lovely trail on the high plateau around Adderstone, with mixed terrain of forest roads and grass tracks plus a few short climbs and descents. Dalby Forest A slice of roast turkey served with a couple of roast potatoes and veg: Run 4.3 miles Trail idea: Blue Cycle Route at Delamere Forest, Cheshire Why?: A challenging route through an undulating landscape. But it’s short-lived and the potential calorie burn is well worth the effort. Delamere Cheese served with crackers and grapes: Run 1 mile plus toning exercises Trail idea: Fitness Trail at Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire Why?: The circular trail, on unsurfaced/ cross-country style route, includes 10 pieces of fitness equipment designed to improve all over body fitness. Each piece of equipment has guidelines on what to do and the number of repetitions required to achieve set goals. Wendover Woods Large handful of festive glazed mixed nuts: Cycle 10 miles Trail idea: Poacher Trail at Thetford Forest, Suffolk Why?: A moderate trail for more experienced cyclists, offering variable surfaces along the route. Thetford Roast goose served with pigs in blankets, Brussels sprouts covered in gravy, followed by a slice of Christmas cake and a spoonful of brandy butter: Run 10.5 miles Trail idea: Hawkshead Moor Trail, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria Why?: Ideal for running or cycling, this calorie burner has plenty of ups and downs to challenge you. The route also provides plentiful Lake District views. Grizedale Christmas pudding served with double cream: Cycle 12 miles Trail idea: Two laps of the Adventure Cycle Trail at Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire Why?: Explore a variety of tree types and habitats and maybe spot some of the elusive deer that call Sherwood Forest their home. Sherwood Pines Glazed Boxing Day ham and mustard sauce with braised red cabbage, leftover roast potatoes and vegetables: Cycle 20-26 miles Trail idea: Lakeside Way Trail, Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland Why?: The 26-mile Lakeside Way multi-user path offers visitors to Kielder Water & Forest Park a unique experience, giving access to the most scenic parts of Kielder Water’s shore and the opportunity to get up close to some of area’s abundant wildlife. Lakeside Way.