With Easter well and truly over and April coming to a close, some of us may find ourselves patting our chocolate-filled bellies, enjoying the sunshine from the comfort of a lounger in the garden and stocking up on barbecue supplies in preparation of the summer months.
The first week of May brings us Get Walking Week – a festival created to encourage the populace to get active and explore the wonders that await them outside their doorstep, wither it’s making short journeys on foot instead of taking the car or finding time out with working hours to enjoy a more lengthy trek.
Without trying to state the obvious – walking is good for you.
Keen walkers frequently boast of the physical and mental benefits of walking; stating that as well as being a good way to stay fit and tone lower-body muscles, it also offers a form of stress relief and can greatly improve your mood.
Further to the health benefits that come with walking, Britain’s beautiful and diverse landscapes – in particular the West Coast of Scotland (in our unbiased opinion!) – have many nature walks, national parks and mountain paths to explore, offering breath-taking scenery out onto lochs, glens and forests.
The best thing about walking is that anyone can enjoy it: it’s free and you can go at your own pace. All you need is a pair of shoes and you’re ready to get going!
Start of small, building up your pace and distance through time – it’s never a good idea to over exert yourself, which could lead to injuries like sprains.
For those who fancy a slightly lengthier walk; it’s always a good idea to bring plenty of water and some snacks with fast-releasing carbohydrates like fruit. (A raincoat wouldn’t go amiss either!)
Avoiding Soreness and Fatigue
Muscle soreness and fatigue is a symptom and consequence of most physical activities and is usually fixed with a good rest. Though you’re unlikely to get any from light strolls and shorter walks, long and hilly ventures could leave you sore for days!
Massage is a useful tool to help relieve tightness and stiffness in muscle tissue and can reduce fatigue and soreness by increasing the blood circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients into the muscle.
For walkers we would recommend getting a leg specific massage to concentrate on easing the tension in your tired limbs before going on your next adventure!