Should you walk 1000 miles?

Do you want to walk more this year but are Not sure If you should?

Read on to Find out how Walk 1000 Miles is helping me.

It could help you too 

 

Last month I asked could you walk 1000 miles? But the question now is should you?

What if there’s something that makes you feel it’s the wrong thing to do?

Well, that was me last June. I have CFS/ME and I wasn’t sure whether the challenge would actually make it worse. But I decided to try and…

…walk 1000 miles has changed my life.

Perhaps this post will help you see that walking may actually be the answer.

 

Walking is good for you

We are a nation of couch potatoes. The average adult spends 24 hours in front of the TV each week while young people spend at least 1/3 of their leisure time on devices. And many of us are parked on our bums for much of our work day.

This is bad.

We're collapsing under a mountain of poor health, much of which could be prevented.

So what’s the answer? I think you know already…

...walking!

According to Hippocrates, a Greek physician 2400 years ago, “walking is a man’s best medicine.” And Country Walking Magazine cites it as ‘the wonder drug’. You can even get walks or the outdoors on prescription in some areas of the UK.  

Lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your bones, aiding weight loss and boosting your mental health are just a few things walking can do for you. This infographic from Country Walking gives more detail:

 

How walking helps me

It keeps my mental health in check

While walking is undoubtedly good for most people, if you have a health condition it’s not always clear. Your condition may even seem to stop you from walking like CFS/ME did to me.

This drains my energy, makes my muscles weak/painful and makes doing anything challenging at times, particularly exercise. Even going on a short walk can make me feel worse. So I was worried about starting to walk 1000 miles.

But, I knew I needed to do everything possible to keep my mental health in check because depression and anxiety are common side effects of CFS/ME. And having had depression before I knew first-hand that walking helps. More on this in my next post – don’t want to miss it? Subscribe here:

So I decided to try then got all excited about it to Country Walking Magazine last July:

 

It makes me feel better physically

But would I be able to balance walking with resting – just enough walking to boost my mental health without compromising my energy levels too much?

Although I was nervous to start with, I now manage to stop myself doing too much (most of the time…). It’s challenging because I want to be out in the countryside a lot and sometimes it’s hard knowing when it’s ok to push through pain/fatigue and when it’s not. I’ve made many whoopsies and still do, but the health benefits far outweigh the costs.

I still feel fatigued after walking but I can do more now than I could six months ago without becoming Ill.

I feel so alive. Yay for walking!

 

I have fun!

So whatever you’re dealing with, I believe you will reap the benefits as long as you walk in a way that suits you and do it very slowly if necessary. I slow myself down by walking mindfully, taking lots of pictures, looking in detail at nature and learning about my environment and having random fun like collecting pointless gates/stiles (a walk 1000 miles favourite).

[A note of caution: I am not a doctor/health professional. Please chat with one if you are unsure.

And particularly to others with CFS/ME: I am only mildly affected and walk short distances – little and often is my motto. If you are severely affected I know it can be hard to walk anywhere or even get out of bed! I’m not saying walking is definitely the answer for you but do think whether it could help to try even a few steps.]

 

Still not sure?

Are you still hesitating?

Just in case, some more pretty pics:

 

This is the second 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!