Not sure how to start? you already have!
Chances are you started at about 12 months old and never stopped. The snag is that for a lot of us, modern life limits our opportunities to use our legs. Let's Walk Cymru is about doing more walking. All you need to start is comfortable shoes.
It's easier than you think to add more walking into your average day. You could try something as easy as getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way to work, going to the shops on foot instead of going in the car or parking just a bit further away than normal (if you’re not planning on buying anything too heavy – you’ve got to carry it back, remember) , or simply taking a stroll to enjoy the place you live at a gentler pace and see it from a new perspective.
As you can imagine, you don't need much at all to get walking. A good pair of shoes is the most important thing - and you probably have those anyway. Something comfortable, with good support for your feet, is just right.
Try to wear loose-fitting clothes for walking too - they let you move more freely. Thin layers are better than heavy chunky clothes (even if it's cold and you need to wear a few of them!) And don't forget about the British weather - if it's a hot day and you think you'll be outside for a while, make sure you take a bottle of water and sun cream. For rain, a waterproof or umbrella will come in very handy!
Getting the benefits.
Every time you exercise, it gets that bit easier: so if you want to make sure you’re getting the full benefit from walking, why not step up the pace a little?
When you walk faster:
- your heart rate goes up
- your lungs and muscles work harder
- and a warm glow tells you how much good it’s doing you.
But don’t overdo it; you should still be able to talk comfortably to one of your fellow walkers; if you’re getting breathless, take it a bit more gently. It’s meant to be fun! Start at a comfortable pace, build it up as you get warmed up, then ease off as you get into the final stretch.
Walking’s not just about using your legs; it’s giving other parts of your body a good workout without you even realising it’s happening. Stand up straight, but relaxed, and swing your arms in time with your steps; in no time at all you’ll be walking more efficiently, gently exercising muscles you didn’t know you had and generally feeling better all over
We would all feel better for walking a bit more and it can reduce our chances of serious illness.
Let's Walk Cymru groups are short walk groups designed to accommodate all types of people; no one is too young, too old or too slow.
Not sure a group is for you? Here are some tips for getting out on your own.
Wales is wonderful in all its moods; having the right kit means you can be out there enjoying yourself.