Giving false beliefs about walking the boot!

Despite more people than ever taking to their local parks in recent years, there are still many false claims about walking. While many seasoned partakers can laugh off ridiculous beliefs such as ‘all walkers are old’ and ‘walking doesn’t do much for fitness’, they may be a barrier to less experienced walkers who wish to get into the exercise. So, without further ado, let’s give these false beliefs about walking the boot once and for all!

Walking is for older people

Obviously, able-bodied people of all ages can walk, however there is a common misconception that those who walk as a hobby are older or retired. Young people in their 20s-40s enjoy walking after work and on the weekends, plus many walking clubs have enough demand to create ‘young walker’ sub-groups. Metropolitan Walkers, for example, organise rambles for 20-30 years olds in the Inner City. Even so, why not mix up your social circles? Spending time with a range of different age-groups can be a wholesome and eye-opening experience.

Walking is boring

Taking time to stretch your legs, think, breathe fresh air is an invaluable way to connect with yourself, friends and nature, and to boost your physical and mental wellbeing. Many walking clubs have vibrant social scenes, with weekly trips to the pub and annual events such as walking festivals. Those who walk by themselves are hardly ‘boring’ either; rather, they are impressively patient, self-disciplined and imaginative for their ability to spend time with themselves away from distraction.

Walking won’t make you fit

Many people only think of walking as a form of travel in our busy lives – an inconvenient necessity when the trains aren’t running, or we run out of milk. However, walking is a great way to stay fit, as it burns excess calories, improves cardiovascular health and improves your stamina. Brisk walking, Nordic walking (with poles) and hill walking are even better ways to challenge yourself and get the same sense of achievement and endorphin rush as a HIIT class.

You have to own a dog to be seen walking in your local park

It can be daunting to exercise in public, however its worth remembering that local spaces are just as much yours as anyone else’s! Although parks do contain dog walkers and people with young children, it is by no means odd to see people walking by themselves, in workout clothes or not, enjoying the benefits of outdoors. If you feel self-conscious, putting yourself out of your comfort zone will be good for your self-confidence.

You can’t be a walker if you live in a city

You don’t have to live in the rolling Surrey hills to be a walker; urban walking can be just as fulfilling and as challenging as you want it to be! A city walk could involve window-shopping; taking the long way to your local coffee shop; walking from one park to another; a route that takes you past urban street art or other features of your area; and walking to your social engagements. Another benefit of living in a city is that, with a few safety precautions (walking in a group, on well-lit roads) you can experience the nocturnal buzz of city life by heading out at night time.