Thursday, 6 January 2011

Set yourself a 2011 walking challenge

Ben Nevis: Step out for a walking challenge in 2011

Are you looking for a little inspiration to kickstart your 2011 "walk yourself to improved fitness" campaign? What? You haven't even thought about getting off the sofa and out into the countryside after all your festive indulgences? Then now is the time!

Walking is one of the most accessible and low-budget ways to get fit and lose some weight. Walking is also a cardiovascular exercise that will help to boost the health of your heart. And it does wonders for toning leg and bum muscles.

So what about the inspiration? Here we bring you some ideas for launching your best ever year of walking in Scotland.

Head for the peaks: You could decide to walk a round of Munros, Corbetts or Grahams. These are all popular bagging (that is walking to the summit) pursuits and while it's unlikely that you'll complete a whole round of Munros, Corbetts or Grahams, you could be into double numbers by the end of 2011.

Take on a challenge: Long-distance walking events, such as the Caledonian Challenge, provide a great goal for walkers. You'll need to train for such events and to encourage friends to join you in a team so a walking challenge can be a great way to motivate yourself to get fit.

Do your bit for charity: Many walk events help to raise funds for charity but you could set your own unique walking challenge and raise funds for your chosen charity. Why not pledge to walk to the top of Ben Nevis three times on one weekend or walk the full 64-mile Cateran Trail in two days? You fundraiser can be anything you fancy, but we're recommending it involves walking in Scottish countryside.

Get out with the family: Make 2011 the year you get your kids into walking. Choose some easier hikes to start with and then build up to a bigger challenge. Some of the easiest Munros are located in Angus and could provide the goal for a summer's day hike.

If you have any motivating ideas please do tell us.

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