Winter motivation for walkers
The clocks have gone back in the UK. The days are darker, duller, wetter and colder. So why wouldn’t you hang up your walking boots for the winter and enjoy a season of staying warm indoors?
Well, we reckon there are many rewards for getting outdoors in the winter, especially if you are a walker. Here are seven of the best reasons to walk through the chillier months.
7 reasons to walk in winter
Beat the blues:
The traditional winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder
, is indiscriminate. You might be a full-on and up-beat person yet when the days are short and dark, you could easily succumb to low emotions and ebbs. However, research has shown that by going outdoors for as little as 20 minutes each day to enjoy some form of exercise can help to combat the winter blues.
Walking briskly to raise your heart rate will boost the feel-good hormone serotonin. And why stop at 20minutes? If you have the time a bracing hill or trail walk will realise even more benefits to your mental health.
A landscape coloured by the bright hues of autumn leaves, heather and grass, or when covered by a blanket of dazzling white snow, offers many delights for walkers in the chillier seasons. Even a walk that you have done many times before will be revitalised by a change in the seasons.
Stay in shape:
Winter can be a time for hibernating and eating comfort food. This is fine, so long as you work off the excess calories – and, you guessed it, walking is a great way to balance the extra calories of winter carb-loading.
Meet with friends:
As the Christmas season approaches, why not shun tradition? Instead of getting together with old friend and relatives at a hotel and feasting on a festive meal, you could enjoy a walking weekend. You’ll feel so much better – and fitter – if you walk and talk and then feast!
Fit for spring:
If you walk through the winter months as much as possible you’ll arrive in spring far fitter than spending months sitting on the sofa in front of the TV. Then you’ll be ready to get out into the hills – or book a walking holiday (try our holiday finder by month
) – far earlier in the season than those who have not kept on walking through winter.
Learn new skills:
Walking in winter demands better navigation and survival techniques. Join a guided course and challenge yourself to learn these skills. The rewards will be huge when you know how to better cope in more extreme environments.
Winter walking demands warmer kit and more waterproof clothing. If you are a walker you can treat yourself to some shopping for new items without a guilty conscience.
Tell us what motivates you to walk in winter.