Could you walk 1000 miles?

Are you looking for a challenge this year?

Do you want to get outside more, feel fit and healthy, and explore new places?

You can with Walk 1000 miles.

But, as you know, starting something new can be daunting. “Am I fit enough, will I manage the distance, have I got the time?”

So it was with trepidation I began last June.

And now?

 

Walk 1000 miles has changed my life!

 

So what is walk 1000 miles?

Walking towards Dovedale, the Peak District, UK

It's really simple. Just walk 1000 miles in a year. That’s 2.74 miles or 6290 steps per day.

Or over eight laps of the M25, at least 10 000 football pitches, all the way across the Gobi Desert or more than ¼ way to the centre of the earth!

And the best bit is...

 

You don’t need to be fit

Walking is a great way to get fit – just start small and enjoy the process. Build up step-by-step (pardon the pun) and you may be surprised at what you can do:

I took it slowly at the start, and have gone on in leaps and bounds since. Now I’m 16lb lighter, and with more muscle tone. Walking is so much easier.
— Guy Brindle, Country Walking, 2018.

You don’t need to be extreme

You don’t have to be an extreme mountaineer or fanatical explorer. Choose to walk within your comfort zone or push yourself to the limit; most people lie somewhere in between.

But I have found is it’s great fun to try something different. If you’ve never been to the Lake District why not go? If you’ve always wanted to try Nordic walking now’s your chance. But if you’re happy with your regular dog walk, keep at it.

Here’s just one new place I discovered this year - Calke Abbey. Not extreme but definitely beautiful:

 

You don’t need to be healthy

Full health isn't necessary. I’m not.

18 months ago I developed CFS/ME and can't walk as far as I used to; fatigue and weakness mean I have to take regular rests. But I like a challenge so I will walk 1000 miles. It just has to be at my own pace in my own way with plenty of time admiring the views...

Lyvden New Bield in Autumn

You don’t need lots of time

Walking easily fits around commitments.

Why not get your whole family involved?

I feel happiest when I’m out walking with my family, not on the sofa! Best challenge I’ve ever done.
— Clair Maskell, Country Walking, 2018

Or you could take a lunchtime walk from work, walk one bus stop further on your commute or even start walking all the way in. If you run your own business you can plan walks into your day. They don’t have to be long – a ten minute stroll every so often soon builds up the miles.

 

You don’t have to go far

There are lots of places waiting for you to discover right on your doorstep.

One thing I’ve started doing is finding footpaths on a map that I’ve never walked before and following them. Or repeating routes I know well at different times of day. It’s amazing how much you notice by walking the same route regularly.

You'll also notice how the landscape changes with the seasons:

But you do have to make it your own challenge

So there’s no reason not to walk 1000 miles. Really. 

And the great thing is it’s your challenge. You do it your way, however you want. No one minds how quick or slow you are, where you walk, why you walk or even how you walk. Anyone up for the conga?

 

Walk 1000 miles has changed my life. Let it change yours too

Still not sure about it?

I was too so began with walk 500 miles as this seemed more doable. But, 280 miles in and I've got the bug. 1000 miles here I come! 

Don't worry about how long it takes. The fun is in the doing.

And see how your life changes for the better.

Mine certainly has. Mentally I’m more positive and physically I can to do more than I could six months ago – including walking. Yay!

So don't hold back. Get those boots on and go for it.

Here’s some inspiration from my last six months:

 

This is the first post of a series so watch out for more.

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Further information

Walk 1000miles 2018: https://www.walk1000miles.co.uk/

Walk 500 miles 2018: will be launched later in the year

Country Walking magazine: https://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/countrywalking/  This is how I discovered walk 1000 miles and it is a fab mag!

Calke Abbey: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey 

Lyvden New Bield: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyveden