Walks for your checklist in 2021

Christmas is one of the most thrilling times of the year, from the excitement of going to pick out a tree, to the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping down the brightly lit streets,  throughout the month of December there’s always something to enjoy. Whether you love the excuse to wear an ugly festive jumper, a reason to let your hair down at the Christmas party or an excuse bump into that someone special under the mistletoe, there is something we all have in common during the festive season, the overindulgence.

Come the New Year, we are ready to reflect on our year and maybe start making some resolutions. Some of the most common resolutions come in the form of saving money, eating healthier, taking up a hobby or exercising more, so what better way to start your fresh start than with a New Year’s Day walk.

New Year’s Day is the last time to cherish some peaceful time and mentally prepare for the return to the office. A long walk will not only give you the headspace you need but has benefits for the entire body, from reduced stress levels to strengthen muscles. Here at Rieker, we are on hand to provide you with some of the best walks to put on your checklist for 2020, with spectacular views stretching as far as can see,  you’re sure to start your year right and fight off those excess feelings from the year before.

Northumberland Coast Walk

The Northumberland coast path is a designated path that runs the entire stretch of Northumberland’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The path is split into 6 manageable walks, so wherever you find yourself along the coast there is a route you can take. The route can be taken by all abilities as it is mainly flat, with just the occasional incline and many places to stop for something to eat and rest. The walk incorporates a mixture of elements from sandy beaches, secluded coves and stunning ancient castles, including the famous Bamburgh Castle.  With something to see at every corner, check out your Northumberland guide for more information and a collection of other Northumberland walks.

Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail

If you’re a fan of history you’ll love this walk. See the famous frontier wall built from 122 AD to protect Roman England from Scotland, stretching 74 miles from Wallsend on the River Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria in the west. Described by ‘BBC1’s Countryfile’ as Britain’s finest long-distance walk, step your way along this World Heritage Site and breathe in the past. Find the right walk for you at Hadrian’s Wall Country

Lizard Peninsula Coast  

In Cornwall, you’ll find Lizard Peninsula, a stunningly scenic stretch of natural beauty decorated with quaint fishing villages and picturesque coves. Running from the small town of Porthleven to the quiet village of Helford, the Lizard coastline is linked by the South West Coast Path. If you love spotting wildlife, plants and flowers, this walk is a nature lover’s haven. Find your picture perfect walk by visiting Cornwall

West Highland Way 

The West Highland Way has become one of Scotland’s first designated long distance trails in 1980, and is still one of the most popular today. The West Highland Way will take you through breathtaking landscapes, with the beauty of Loch Lomond and the remote wilderness of Rannoch Moor before finally ending at Fort William,  the foot of Britain’s biggest mountain. For all the walking information you need to enjoy the wild landscape of Scotland check out the West Highland Way Official website.

Coniston Round 

The Lake District National Park is one of England’s most beloved destinations, with Coniston Round taking the title as one of the most stunning routes. The route starts at the delicate village of Coniston, the circular route then leads you up the Coniston Fells and the Old Man of Coniston, which is one of the Lake District’s most renowned peaks. You are then lead to Grey Fair, known as the most remote peak in the Coniston Fells, which is perfect for a picture stop or a spot of lunch, all before ascending Dow Crag where you have a last chance to take in the spectacular views. To discover more of Lake District check out the golakes official website

There are a vast array of National trails with a collection of walks, whether you’re looking for a family friendly ramble or an intense hike, there’s a walk for every ability. If you can’t decide whether you prefer endearing coastline or stretched moorland then the Cleveland Way is your perfect trail.

What are the benefits of walking?

Walking is a fantastic way to improve your overall health and as little as 30 minutes per day can increase cardiovascular fitness, reduce body fat, boost endurance, improve muscle power and strengthen bones. The beauty of walking is that it is low impact and requires minimal equipment, meaning it can be performed at your own pace. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, you don’t need to worry about the risks that could be associated with more rigorous forms of exercise, though you should still set yourself some beginner’s limits if you’re not sure. 

Walking on a regular basis can reduce your risks of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Walking can make exercise fun, not only can you take in the most picturesque sights, you can make it into a social activity with family and friends. You could even join a walking club! 

Walking is also great for your mental health, it provides you with well needed headspace, fresh air and is highly likely to reduce stress and anxiety levels. 

How many calories does walking burn?

You may be surprised to know that there is little difference between the amount of energy you burn walking a kilometre than you do running a kilometre. However, walking fast burns more kilojoules per hour than walking slowly. It’s important not to push yourself too much though, you don’t want to be breathless. The distance you walk and your weight are both factors in how many calories you burn while walking. It’s suggested that 100 calories are burnt per mile for a person weighing around 180 pounds, while a 120 pound person can burn around 120. 

We can quickly get used to physical activity, so increasing the intensity of your walks can help improve your overall fitness level, you can do this by walking up inclines, walking with small hand weights, increasing the distance you walk and increasing the speed you walk.  

Wearing a pedometer measures the number of steps you take,  this may motivate you to move more. You can use it to measure your movement throughout a day and compare it to other days or to recommended amounts.. The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10,000 steps or more.

Hip pain when walking

If you struggle with hip pain when walking it is recommended that you consult your doctor to diagnose the cause to prescribe the right treatments. In many cases, physical therapy may help treat hip pain and improve your core strength. While you find the root cause of your hip pain, here are a few tips to help deal with the pain while walking: 

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes that give your feet even support. 
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing, especially around your waist and legs. 
  • Wear shoes with a sturdy insole that does not off-balance your feet. 
  • Wear a back-support brace to ease the pain as you walk. 
  • Use a walking stick or cane to reduce the strain on your hips when walking. 
  • Choose walks with little incline and mainly a flat surface. 

Knee pain when walking 

Knee pain, just like hip pain, can be the result of several causes or conditions, therefore we do recommend consulting your doctor to diagnose the problem and prescribe the right treatments. Nevertheless, here are a few tips to help soothe and prevent further pain. 

  • Wear cushioned, well-fitting shoes that support your feet and don’t further exacerbate your pain. 
  • Warm up before walking or exercising – stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings. 
  • Stick to low-impact exercises, swimming and walking are great for this. 
  • Walk down hills – if you’re a fan of running, walk when you get to downhill inclines as this will put extra force on your knees.
  • Stick to smooth paved surfaces – rough walkways can be hazardous to your knee health. 
  • Replace your shoes frequently to ensure they have full support and cushioning. 
  • Take regular breaks and enjoy the view. 

What is the best shoe for walking? 

Walking shoes differ from running shoes or other trainers. Walkers require flexion, therefore it must be flexible in the forefront, or your foot will strain against it as you take each step. 

Rieker ladies’ trainers are perfect for popping on before heading out for a stroll due to their flexible soles that can work well on any terrain, whether you opt for a hillside walk or a relaxing stroll alongside a river, there’s a shoe to suit in our collection. For those rocky hillside hikes,  ladies Rieker boots with a serrated edge sole will provide much-needed grip, especially when walking in winter. Don’t let misty dark mornings put you off,  brighten them up with a pair of vibrant multi-coloured Rieker trainers to add a  playful touch to your walking attire.

For men, our selection of Rieker men’s blue lace up boots act as the best walking shoes for your days out as a family. An efficient sole on the bottom of the Rieker men’s trainers work as an effective shock absorber for a more comfortable fit on long walks. The combination of a sturdy sole and soft fabric upper with lace up fastening make Rieker trainers the most practical choice when choosing walking shoes for men and women.  The UK offers a plethora of beautiful stately homes and woodland parks that are crying out to be explored by you this year. Offering plenty of family activities to get together and celebrate the beauty of the great outdoors. Be prepared for all weathers and terrains here at Rieker.

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