Why It’s Time to Get Walking This Winter
Rambling is a deceptively popular pastime in the UK, with the official club in England, Scotland and Wales now boasting more than 100,000 members.
This describes the practice of taking extended walks in the countryside for fun, which can have immense health benefits and also provide opportunities for social networking in-person.
We’ll explore this below, while looking at how lockdown has affected our travel habits and encouraged more of us to cultivate an active lifestyle, and why this could be beneficial over time.
What Does the Data Tell Us?
The National Accident Helpline (NAHL) has compiled some useful data on our travel and commuting habits post-Covid, with the impact of lockdowns clearly changing our behaviors and appearing to encourage far higher levels of physical activity.
For example, a recent NAHL survey has shown that cycling is up 24% in the UK when compared to pre-pandemic levels, while the use of private motor vehicles has declined even more markedly by 27%.
Even more interestingly, the use of public transport was down by 68%, and while this has much to do with the fact that more people stayed at home, it also reflects the gradual switch to cycling and walking.
This survey also asked respondents about their planned methods of transportation once the lockdowns were brought to a halt.
This also bears out the increased popularity of cycling and walking, with cycling set to see a further 2.2% increase in uptake and walking likely to rise by 3.4%.
Conversely, the responses suggested a further 2.5% decline in car usage, while 2.6% fewer respondents will regularly use public transportation.
The Benefits and Considerations When Walking
Ultimately, there are numerous benefits for those of you who take up walking, while cycling can also deliver a number of physical advantages over time.
The former certainly helps to improve circulation, which can in turn minimize the risk of heart disease and your overall physical function. There’s also evidence to suggest that people who exercise and walk regularly in their fifties and sixties are 35% less likely to die over the course of the next eight years than those who live a more sedentary life.
Walking can also have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, as it helps to release natural painkilling endorphins throughout the body.
This has been borne out by a particular Californian study, which showed a clear correlation between the number of steps taken by an individual and the level of their moods.
Of course, you’ll need to be careful when walking or cycling, as you may suffer as the result of an accident that wasn’t your fault and potentially end up making a personal injury claim.
So, you’ll need to ensure that you wear the relevant safety gear and equipment when walking or cycling, while being mindful of potential hazards when you’re out in the country!