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Talking about walking

Due to the excitement of Green Health Week and all we had going on, something that I've not really mentioned is that May is National Walking Month! I know it's a bit late to be getting on board with this, but in the background I've had my walking shoes on (incidentally, don't you just love my new rainbow walking shoes?) and have been encouraging my colleagues to get involved with a walking challenge. Here at VASLan since 1st May, a team of seven of us have been walking the Great Wall of China, and I am pleased to report that at this point (on 20th May) we have completed 31% of it, with a total of 1,118,672 steps! Sadly this means we're not going to complete it in May, but it does mean that we will be able to extend the fun. When we were planning this, I looked at various apps and walking challenges and this one came out top. It's called World Walking and rather wonderfully it is a Scottish charity, born and bred in Inverclyde with the desire to motivate more people to get walking and reap the benefits of a healthier, more active lifestyle. It's a great thing to do as a team or a family, but also it's something you can take on as an individual challenge. Before I suggested it to my colleagues, I was already 22% along the Camino de Santiago. There's information about the milestones you pass along the way and you can even check out where you are on google streetview. I am happy to report that the sun is shining on my virtual walk in Spain. Not so much on my real walk in Glasgow.

To read more about National Walking Month and to take advantage of some brilliant resources, check out the Living Streets website. I just had a quick go on their wheel of walking, and the tip I landed on was "go on an adventure". What I really like about their idea of walking is that they're not suggesting that I wait until I can travel to somewhere far flung, or until I am fit enough, or rich enough, to go and climb Mont Blanc. They're suggesting turning any old every day walk into an adventure. One of the things I like to do to get a different perspective and have a bit of fun, is to walk in the opposite direction to usual. It doesn't sound like much, but if you are used to going for a particular walk, then if you do it the other way round, you notice completely different things. I suppose it is because you are really looking, rather than just seeing the same old things. Give it a go!

Another thing to do if you're bored with the same old route, is to give the Go Jauntly app a try. I've talked about this before, but they have just launched their Green Routes function for android phones. This means that if you have somewhere to go then this app will show you the greenest route to get there. It will also suggest a range of walks right from your front door, taking in the best of nature. Don't forget about their Nature Notes app too which is a great prompt to connect with nature wherever you are. If you like something to listen to while you walk then their Nature Bantz podcast has had some great guests including author Jini Reddy and Professor Miles Richardson from the University of Derby Nature Connectedness department. There is a new series just starting too.

So, in conclusion, there are loads of ways to get inspired to walk and loads of different ways to walk, so get your shoes on and get out the front door.

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