If you’re looking to rid yourself of the extra weight you’ve put on over the festive period, then you’re in good company.Throughout January, gyms across the nation will be packed with eager and well-intentioned exercisers, each bursting with enthusiasm for all things fitness-related.
If you’ve looking for a way to get fit in 2017, then you might already be familiar with one way of doing so – walking.It’s a reliable means not only of getting fit, but of raising money in a charity challenge.Charity treks see participants cross distant deserts, jungles and mountain ranges – providing a means of raising money for a good cause, and seeing the world in the process.
For thousands of years, human beings have been walking from place to place.It’s a form of exercise that’s easy to get into, is low-intensity, and is an effective stress-reliever.One virtue of walking, however, outstrips all of the others – and that’s that it doesn’t cost the earth.You don’t, strictly speaking, need any special machinery in order to get going – you need only put one foot in front of the other.
Of course, things can be made decidedly easier and more fun with the help of a few items.Let’s examine a few of the most useful.
When you’re eating up mile after mile of terrain, some of it rugged, some of it somewhere far beyond rugged, you’ll need a pair of shoes that are up to the task.An ordinary pair of trainers is unlikely to last for very long – and it won’t support your feet with anywhere near the same efficacy as a pair of proper, durable walking boots.Be sure that you get boots suitable for your level – and that you try a pair on with the socks you’ll be wearing before taking them out into the country.
Jacket and trousers
If you’re going to be trekking out in the countryside, then you’ll want clothing that’s capable of resisting the elements – but which won’t cause you to get uncomfortably hot.This is where an ordinary jumper-and-jeans combination will start to fall down – as the exertion of walking will quickly cause your body temperature to rise.A specially-made, lightweight pair of walking trousers, and a similarly lightweight jacket, will help you to get out in any weather conditions without suffering the slightest discomfort.
Ideally, your walking attire should consist of a breathable baselayer, and insulating midlayer and a waterproof outer shell (much like the feathers of a duck).According to the season, you’ll be able to dispense with these items as you see fit – but it’s important to have them to hand in the first place.
In order to get the best from your walking regime, it’s important to keep track of how much progress you’re making.A smartwatch, like the popular Fitbit, will be able to track changes in your heartrate and movement during and between your walks – providing you with a precisely-maintained log of just how far you’re progressing.If you’re looking to build towards a long-term fitness target, a smartwatch is sure to will prove an invaluable tool.
If you’re going to be going for a long walk, then you’ll need to ensure that you’re properly hydrated throughout.Instead of buying plastic bottles over and over, it’s best to invest in something more substantial and re-usable – that way you’ll be able to take your supply of fluids wherever in the world you might want to go.Getting halfway through a twenty-mile walk to discover that you’ve run out of fluids isn’t much fun – but even if the distance you’re travelling isn’t quite so herculean, you’ll want to be sure that you have access to water at all times.Nowadays, it’s possible to purchase durable glass bottles with thick, shatter-resistance walls that’ll keep your water stored.If you’re going on a longer hike, you might decide to upgrade to a larger pouch of water that’ll fit within your rucksack, providing you with enough water to last several days.
If you’re walking across uneven terrain, then a pair of walking poles will provide you with some measure of security against slips and falls.But they’ve another key advantage – they’ll spread the impact of walking away from your knees and hip and into your shoulders and elbows.This will help to alleviate leg pain and allow you to walk further, but it’ll also prevent leg problems from developing in the first place – preserving the cartilage around your joints and allowing you to remain active for longer.