02 May Hill Walking and Health Journeys
As humans it’s incredibly important we look after both our physical and mental health and wellbeing. It can be very difficult to know what is the right thing for you because we live in a world where everyone has a phone and everyone has the internet and social media at their finger tips. This can be a great thing, but it also means when you google, for example ‘ways to improve my health’, hundreds and thousands of different articles, opinions and ideas are going to appear.
I want to share with you an incredibly simple tip to improve your physical and mental health and wellbeing: walk more.
It’s important we walk and move just to maintain a basic level of health anyway, but if you are needing to lose a bit of body fat or you’re feeling a bit low – walk more.
Any kind of walking is beneficial, because its movement at the end of the day. But I’d like to talk a little bit about hiking and why hill walking in particular is one of my favourite activities.
I’ve always viewed hiking as a fun challenge. It’s a very long day, it’s tiring, sometimes the weather can be pretty miserable but when you reach the top the views and the sense of accomplishment are usually pretty unbeatable.
Heading out for a day in the hills is great for many reasons. It forces you to take time off your phone and either enjoy your company or enjoy nature. The walking, exercise and fresh air releases all your happy endorphins. It’s a great social activity, most people on the hills love to stop for a chat. If you have a dog it’s also a great day out for them. When the weather is good you can soak up some Vitamin D and have a cold water dip at the bottom. The list is endless.
I like to think hill walking also improves your confidence. You can prove to yourself that you are capable of achieving something difficult and overcoming any negative or limiting beliefs you may have on the way up.
‘This is hard’
‘I’ll never manage this’
‘I’m too unfit for this’
‘I should’ve stayed at home’
You can prove to yourself why you are better than your excuses.
Climbing a mountain is a lot like embarking on a health and fitness journey. Why?
Because when you begin to climb a mountain, much like like starting your new health and wellbeing venture, motivation is high, you’re excited, ready to try something new and exciting. A little bit into the climb you’re starting to feel a bit tired and sore so at the halfway point you take a break, have some water, freshen up then keep going, the same way you might have an off-plan weekend whilst on your fitness journey. When you reach the hard part however, you start questioning what you’re doing. You’re tired, sore, hungry and a bit sweaty. That’s how your workouts can feel when you’re new to health and fitness or working really hard. But this is when it’s most important not to give up, because just a little push further, and you’re at the top of the mountain, you’ve reached your goal!
Why would you quit your journey when you’re so close to the goal? Sometimes things do get in the way, you’ll be unwell, you have a holiday, these things are natural and happen, the same way as when you’re climbing a mountain in Scotland the weather can turn very suddenly and you have to head home before the summit. It doesn’t mean that you give up and never go hill walking again, it just means that you go back another day when the weather is better.
So what is my main point here?
It’s probably going to be hard. But you’re just going to feel that much more accomplished when you do it. The thought of doing is usually much worse than the action of doing, and with a little bit of extra effort you are very capable of achieving more than you think.
So the next time you are doubting yourself, feeling low or even just needing some fresh air, put on your trainers or hiking boots and go and prove to yourself why you can do whatever you put your mind too.