Being able to walk is like having a superpower!
For lucky individuals able to just get up and walk, it is a gift. The benefits of steps taken each day, big or small, fast or slow, should never be underestimated and have a positive effect on our total wellbeing – mental and physical. It’s free and doesn’t need any special equipment!
The Cransley Hospice team has some keen walkers and, Karen, Eileen and Pauline share some of their own experiences, favourite walks and what it is that motivates them to go out walking as often as they can.
Karen started walking with her family when she was young and at 9 years old climbed Mt Snowdon whilst on a family holiday. She loved it and has been walking ever since. “We didn’t have a lot of money, so it was something that we could all do together. I’ve always taken my kids (17 now) and now my son loves it too. We have a cocker spaniel who’s 10 now but he still enjoys doing a good 9 miles at the weekend.
“I’ve so many favourite walks all over the country; I love the Peak District and the Lakes, but one of my favourite local walks is at Pitsford Water, also the Harringworth walk is very pretty! There’s so many, Castle Ashby, Wadenhoe along the Nene, Fermyn Woods, Foxton Locks, Brigstock Country Park, Weekly Wood to Geddington, Wicksteed. My most favourite is probably at Woburn, through the safari park seeing the deer and walking through to see the Elephants. I also love the Norfolk coast.
“I’ve been on loads of walking holidays – Dorset, the Lakes, Ireland and Snowdon many times, with friends and with family.
“It’s just nice to get out. I love the fresh air and being close to nature, love the animals and birds.
Put a pair of boots on me and I’m set for the day!”
Pauline started walking as her social life stopped during the first lockdown. First, it was just short walks from the doorstep with her husband and their dog Leo, a 9-year-old lurcher. “We had been doing 5 – 10 miles from the doorstep and it just spiralled from there. We’d do a lovely walk to and one at Castle Ashby which is a bit further.
“I love the fresh air and exercise, it’s so good for your mental health and clearing your head. We never come home and think – that was rubbish!
“We’ve loved it so much that we’re thinking of doing a walking holiday this year, maybe to Jersey or Scotland.
“Chris’s Dad is 90 and spends half the week with us. When we can, we take him to Harlestone Firs where he likes to walk a mile, but he loves it so much he would do more if his knees would let him.
“My top tip for anyone looking to get into walking is to get some really good boots, socks and waterproofs!
Eileen started walking her local park run routes in 2016. Then in 2019, she signed up to do the Cransley 10K, she got her free water bottle and started training. It wasn’t long before she had the running bug. “It helps me sleep at night”
“I was running three times a week until I got COVID last year and had to stop for three months. It flawed me, I couldn’t even walk ½ a mile. I’d do a small walk and then I’d be bad for 3 days. Recently I decided to try running the local park run route and shocked myself – I was two minutes quicker than I was before I had COVID!
“I love being outside.
I’m at my happiest out in the fresh air, amongst nature, watching and sometimes seeing a fox or a monk jack.”
Before the pandemic, some of the team from the hospice would go on long walks together, to favourite spots like the Hambleton peninsula or the 12 Arches walk. They’ve been to Ireland on a walking holiday and even climbed Snowdon together.
If you’ve been walking during lockdown you will have felt the benefits.
Whether you walk alone, with a dog, a friend or a family member. Silent or talking – it doesn’t matter, it’s time you won’t regret.
Support Cransley Hospice and Walk the Cransley Way – a 100 virtual route that takes in the amazing sights of Snowdon, Hadrian’s Wall, The Brecon Beacons and the rolling hills of the Northamptonshire countryside. https://www.cransleyhospice.org.uk/event/walk-the-cransley-way/