Thursday, April 11, 2024

Hiking & walking

Hiking and walking are great for your physical and mental health. For optimal walking, buy hiking and walking clothing here.

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An enjoyable form of exercise to do both solo and as part of a group, hiking and walking are not only good for the body, but also for the mind, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Walking is a more casual form of exercise than hiking, which requires elevated terrain like hills and mountains, and tends to work the body harder. In 2021, 36% of Brits hiked weekly and enjoyed the benefits, which include weight loss, improved heart and brain health, increased strength, better mental health, and a reduced risk of diseases like diabetes and cancer. Besides these, hikers and walkers also gain a greater appreciation for nature and friends.

However, both hiking and walking require the correct clothing and equipment to protect you from the elements, avoid injury and help you navigate your way. Wearing multiple, moisture-wicking layers is important for regulating body temperature and staying comfortable, and having the correct footwear is important for avoiding ankle and knee injuries, preferably waterproof in case of wet conditions. For the more health-conscious, wearable fitness tech can also be worn to avoid injury and track fitness progress.

What do I need to go hiking?

As hiking requires spending long stretches of time outdoors, it’s important that hikers are wearing the correct clothing and have the correct equipment with them to avoid serious accidents and protect them from the weather.

Generally, when hiking or walking, it’s important to have with you:

  • a weatherproof backpack
  • properly-fitting hiking boots or shoes
  • weather-appropriate clothing (layers are important)
  • a first aid kit
  • portable charger
  • plenty of water and snacks

Where are good places to hike and walk in the UK?

The UK has a lot of scenic and challenging outdoor spaces perfect for hiking and walking. Some popular options include:

  • Snowdonia National Park
  • Hadrian’s Wall
  • The Quiraing
  • South Downs
  • Scafell Pike
  • Causeway Coast
  • Yorkshire Dales

When is the best time to go hiking/walking?

Especially during the summer and spring, it’s best to hike early in the morning (around 6 am). At this time, you can avoid large crowds of hikers, enjoy a boost of energy and cooler temperatures, and clear your mind, leaving you ready for the day ahead. If you’re braving the cold air during winter and autumn, make sure you wrap up warm and go during the warmest part of the day, typically the middle of the day.