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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > June 2019 > Walk your way to GOOD HEALTH

Walk your way to GOOD HEALTH

Discover your wanderlust

Stretch your legs, build your strength and discover all the beauty, wildlife and varied landscapes of the UK countryside. Hannah Ebelthite leads you along the walking trail

RAMBLING, HIKING, TREKKING, HILL WALKING or simply taking a long stroll – whatever you call it, there are few such simple, accessible ways to nourish mind, body and soul. ‘Walking is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to get active, lose weight if you need to, and build strength, balance, flexibility and co-ordination,’ says personal trainer Jacqueline Hooton. ‘Regular, brisk walking can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and has a heart-protective effect. It may also help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dementia and some cancers. ‘I like to start each day with a walk,’ she adds. ‘There’s nothing like a brisk walk along the beach as the sun comes up to prepare you mentally and physically for the day ahead.’ Indeed, studies confirm walking regularly helps lift your mood, reduce anxiety and improve sleep. You can go at your own pace, in company or alone, as far or as close to home as you like.

How do I get started?

‘In the UK we have a rights of way network, which means there are simple, sign-posted, accessible footpaths and trails wherever you go – in urban areas as well as the countryside,’ says James Austin, a walk leader and development officer for Ramblers. ‘Don’t over-think it – it really is a case of going out for a walk and seeing where the path takes you.’ Most villages and towns have known circular or out-and-back routes that take you around the local beauty spots and places of interest. Head to libraries, bookshops and outdoor shops to find details of walks that may not even require a map, let alone a compass. Want to step it up? Try these…

● The National Trust website is a good resource for walks in beautiful places as the seasons change (nationaltrust.org.uk).

● There are 16 National Trails, which showcase Britain’s most stunning and diverse landscapes (nationaltrail.co.uk). While some terrain will be off limits to those with buggies, mobility scooters or wheelchairs, there are plenty of areas that aren’t: search walkswithwheelchairs.com, accessiblecountryside. org.uk and disabledramblers.co.uk.

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About Healthy Food Guide

How low would you go to lose the belly? We investigate the trend and latest evidence for short, drastic calorie-cutting diets. We’ve also done the nutrition on some favourite Pinch of Nom recipes, and have great news for barbecue, pub and picnic lovers, with clever swaps for a summer of delicious healthy outdoor eating. And don’t miss our men’s health special, revealing the simple checks that could add 10 years to his life.