Walking is good for our minds, our bodies and our neighbourhoods and has been a lifeline during the past year, helping people stay active and connected.
As well as the personal benefits we've experienced, lockdown has highlighted the improvements that can be made to congestion and air quality when we drive less.
By walking the roadmap out of the pandemic, rather than driving it, we can emerge healthier and happier. There is a great outdoors out there can be no better time than now to discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Walking is probably the easiest and most accessible form of exercise. You can manage the distance and intensity to suit you and your circumstance, no 2 days are the same and most importantly IT'S FREE!!
Just a few guidelines for the current situation
- If you have symptoms, or reason to believe you have been in contact with the virus stay at home, you should be self isolating.
- Choose the less trodden paths or wide open spaces. If you encounter someone coming the other way, or need to overtake someone give them a wide berth. Smile nicely and shout hello from a safe distance! Avoid narrow tracks and paths where people will be forced closer together.
- Wash hands immediately before you set off and as soon as possible after return. Be careful when handling gates and styles.
A few guidelines for walking even when there isn't a crisis!
- Always follow the Countryside Code - Respect, Protect, Enjoy Click here for the simplified version
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Always wear appropriate footwear and make sure you are prepared for a change in weather.
- Plan your route in advance. So easy to do with Google maps!
- Most smart phones have GPS tracking, Use it to mark your start point.
- If you have planned a "there and back" type walk take notice of your terrain. If "there" is downhill or wind behind you, "back" will be uphill and therefore much harder!
- Dogs are a very welcome walking companion, but countryside areas are also the home of both wild and livestock animals so please keep dogs on a lead.
August Family Challenge
The summer holidays are an ideal way to spend time together and enjoy the local parks and discovering new areas, but we know it can be challenging thinking of things to do everyday. We have therefore come up with fun and active daily activities that you can do together as a family or individually, throughout August.
There's something different everyday, but also a chance for you to make your own. We would also love for you to share your photos with us of your family taking part or your favourite activity or even when you're out and about enjoying what Somerset has to offer. Share with us on social media using #GetOutsideAugustChallenge
We will send out weekly reminders through social media about each week's activities, so keep an eye out.
Download your activity pack here and enjoy the daily challenges and activities. Will you complete all 31?
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get out and get active that most people can do.
Choosing how you walk couldn't be simpler. Here at SASP, we have a range of options available to get you started, keep you motivated and improve your health and happiness.
Walking your way to better health and happiness pulls together programmes, links and resources to guide you along your walking journey. Take a look here.
Couch To 5k
For those who want to start running as a way of getting out the house, but are new to it, Couch to 5K is an amazing app you can download on your phone that will ease you into a routine of running over the course of 9 weeks.
Cycling is another great way to get active outside at this time. You can do it alone or in a group at a safe distance from one another. Take a look at routes and clubs here who have lots of cycle routes along quiet country lanes on their website.
While it may not be thought of as a traditional way of keeping active, getting out in your own back garden and doing some work can be an easy and simple way to get some fresh air and get moving. Doing something out in your own garden is also a great way of tacking mental health problems such as depression, stress and anxiety.
Playing With Pets
Pets are another fantastic way to help you to stay active, especially with dogs. Whether it's taking them for more regular walks, or just having fun with them in the garden, it's almost impossible to be inactive with a dog around. Stewart, one of our We Are Undefeatable Somerset ambassadors, also talks about this in his video, which you can find here.
Outdoor Mobile Games
For some, the idea of exercise may not be too appealing. Some mobile games that encourage people to go outside and play them are a great way of exploring the outdoors, getting some fresh air and staying active. Most people have heard of Pokemon Go, but if you're not really a fan of the brand, there are also similar games to get you out such as Minecraft Earth and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. No matter what you enjoy, there is always some unique way for you to be able to experience the outdoors.