If you’ve decided to take up walking to increase your fitness levels, you will want to ensure that there are plenty of choices of walks – constantly walking the same route becomes boring and may put you off going out at all. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can find new walks in your locality; then you can spend time trying them out at your leisure.
*Use the Internet
Many organisations recommend walking as a way of keeping healthy, and there are a number of websites dedicated to suggesting ideas of walks, even in urban areas. Find some that are in your area and see what they suggest. Many localities in the UK have ‘doorstep walks’, which are advertised on local authority websites and include full directions and maps, as well as the distance involved and time needed.
*Ask at your local library
If you don’t have access to the Internet, then it is worth checking at your local library or tourist information office. They often provide leaflets with suggestions of walks, as well as providing information on the historical or natural aspects of the walks in question. You could also look out for books that are dedicated to walks in the area – most libraries will have a selection.
*Buy a detailed map
If you enjoy discovering new walks yourself, then buy a detailed map of the area – one that includes footpaths and tracks as well as roads. Then sit down and plan your route. If you are concerned about being off the beaten track, especially if you are alone, make sure you take all the necessary precautions – especially letting people know where you are going and taking a mobile phone.
*Choose a destination and be creative
If you live in an area with plenty of places of interest to visit, then give yourself the aim of walking there, but instead of taking the most obvious route, take side roads and footpaths. Provided that you have a map with you and you know vaguely which direction you are going in, it doesn’t matter if you get a little bit lost; you will probably walk a lot further that way.
*Join a local walking club
Many localities have walking clubs that arrange for people to get together every so often and go on a group walk. This will give you plenty of opportunity to meet new people and find new walks – if the club has transport you may be able to go further afield than you usually would. Support from other members will also give you the motivation to keep going when you are tired.
*Take part in challenges
Look out for local challenges and competitions. For example, the British Heart Foundation organises walks and treks of differing lengths across the UK. Keep an eye out for advertisements in local papers and the library – you will almost certainly find new ideas for walks that you hadn’t previously considered. The competitive element will also heighten your motivation.
*Ask local people for ideas
Ask those around you where they go for walks – people who jog, cycle, walk dogs or just like walking in general are bound to have plenty of different ideas for walks that you hadn’t considered. If you generally walk alone, you can also ask them for their opinions on the safety of certain walks. You may even find yourself a walking partner.
Don’t be put off your walking for fitness plans because you become bored of walking the same old routes. Be creative and you will find there are plenty of options, whether you live in the city or countryside.