Walking is the easiest, most accessible, cost effective, and enjoyable way for most people to increase their physical activity.
A new website - walk4life could be the answer.
The Walk4Life website has thousands of walks, and you can add your own routes and share them with others! What is innovative about the site is the use of OS maps as well as an easy-to-use mapping tool (there is even a video to help you get started).
You can add walks of any length or type - including your regular walks to work, the shops or school, health walks, a weekend stroll, or longer routes over the fells. Cumbria's Countryside Access team are supporting the project and have submitted the "miles without stiles" routes, designed to have as few barriers as possible.
Each time you complete a walk the site records your miles, building up a record of your walking activity. You will soon be able to set yourself a challenge, like walking 50 miles before your next birthday!
Some of the walking routes are special "fitness test" routes - these are 1 mile long, uninterrupted, fairly flat and barrier-free routes. If you time yourself walking the mile and take your pulse at the end, your fitness log will track your improving fitness levels!
The website was launched for National Walking Day on the 26th September together with news items on ITV. Since then nearly 2,000 miles have been walked and over 3,000 walking routes have been added. Take a look and get walking!
The Woodland Walk Finder
To make it easy for you to find your nearest walks in woods, Walking for Health has mapped all of its health walks that pass through woodland. They have done this by teaming up with the new Woodland Trust-led Visit Woods project - the UK's first interactive website to map nearly 14,000 of the UK's woods
Search for your nearest walk at www.woodlandwalks.org.uk
Nordic Walking is a fast growing activity that can be done by anybody, anywhere. It uses specially designed walking poles to engage the upper body, take the pressure off lower body joints and effectively turn a walk into a workout. It's ideal for those who are not keen or able to do typical exercise but also great for people who simply want to be active outdoors and get maximum results in a short space of time. It uses 90% of the skeletal muscles.
NWUK are the leading authority on the technique and provide training and support for their Instructors. They have also developed ready made programmes to help the Instructors deliver to different markets e.g. weight loss, well being and ultimate Nordic circuits are some examples of these. The training provided is suitable for people from any background but is comprehensive enough to be recognised as a full fitness instruction qualification. For those already fitness qualified, only a practical course is required.
If you fancy setting up a local group, workplace activity or becoming an Instructor yourself - find out more here or by calling Kaye on 0845 260 9339
If you would like to try Nordic walking you can find your local NWUK Instructor here
There are 28 opportunities listed on the Physical Activity Directory. To view local opportunities please select your local area.
Walking for Health
The new Walk4Life website has thousands of Walks.
Brampton Happy Wanderers
Carlisle Doorstep Walks
Feet First in Furness
High Hesket Health Walks
Kendal and Stavely - One Step At A Time
Stepping Out - Kirkoswald Health Walks
Maryport Walking for Health
Sally Joanne Walker
Penrith - Eden Walking for Health
Patterdale Health Walks (PHEW!)
Kay Redwood, Nordic Walking UK, 0845 260 9339
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