In this guide we discuss the various benefits of long distance walking and how it can help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re wanting to lose weight or are looking for ways to incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle, long distance walking can provide a whole host of benefits.
Benefits of Long Distance Walking
Burn Calories & Maintain a Healthy Weight
Regularly going out for long walks means you burn calories, which in turn helps you to maintain a healthy weight. It’s worth highlighting that the distance and speed of your walk will impact just how many calories you burn, as will your route’s terrain (you’ll burn more calories walking uphill than you will on a flat surface).
Improve Your Mood
Just like any other form of exercise, when walking your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals trigger positive feelings that can boost your mood and general well-being as well as lower anxiety levels.
This positive feeling you experience after exercising is often referred to as a “runner’s high”.
If one of your aims is to tone your leg muscles, then long distance walking is ideal – the back and forth movement of walking can add definition and shape to the muscles in your legs.
Those who are looking to build up more strength in their leg muscles should walk in hilly areas or plan their routes to include stairs.
Socialise with Friends
One of the many perks of long distance walking is that you can socialise with your friends whilst doing so. Laughing with a friend and having a good catch up whilst walking will make your exercise more enjoyable than doing it on your own.
Also, having a walking partner means you’re not only responsible for your exercise, but also someone else’s. This should help to motivate you as you won’t want to let your friend down by missing a walk – being “too tired” or “not in the mood” suddenly seems like a poor excuse.
Another benefit of long distance walking is that you can earn rewards for your efforts. By signing up to a virtual challenge for example, you’ll receive a medal and compression top for completing a specified number of miles within a month.
What’s particularly great about virtual challenges is that you can walk completely at your own pace; however fast or slow you like. You can split your total mileage into smaller, more achievable chunks throughout the month and complete your walks wherever and whenever you like.
This is perfect for those looking to get into regular physical activity for the first time as it’s a flexible and motivational form of exercise. It’s also the perfect challenge for experienced walkers as the challenge distances range from 5 miles to 300 miles, meaning there’s an appropriate distance for people of all abilities.
See more: What is a Virtual Challenge?
Safe Form of Exercising
Compared to other forms of physical activity like skateboarding, skiing and boxing, walking is a relatively safe type of exercise. Of course, you’ll need to be wary of trip hazards and uneven ground, but the risk of breaking a bone and having to spend 6 weeks in plaster is far less than that of other sports.
You also don’t have to push yourself too hard and risk injury as you control how far and how fast you walk.
Explore the UK & Support Local Businesses
From iconic mountains like Ben Nevis and the Brecon Beacons to local nature reserves and stunning coastlines, the UK has plenty of beautiful areas to explore. There are so many scenic walking routes to enjoy that you’ll never get bored!
If you find a route online that takes your fancy elsewhere in the UK, you can even take a little walking holiday and book a staycation! This will also mean you’re travelling to small towns which you wouldn’t have otherwise visited. You’ll likely – along with many other keen long distance walkers – pop into and offer custom to local pubs, cafes and bakeries, so you’ll be playing your part in supporting small businesses in the UK.
Long Distance Walking Challenges with Race At Your Pace
If you’re looking for a long distance walking challenge to participate in, then look no further than Race At Your Pace. We’re passionate about helping people enjoy exercise which is why we organise our awesome monthly virtual walking challenges.
From 5 miles to 300 miles, challenges of varying distances are available, and all participants receive a medal and compression top upon completion. You have the whole month to cover your miles and you can walk them wherever you want, whenever you want and at a pace suitable for you.
Sign-up today >
Find out more about virtual challenges >
See more: Our Favourite Walking Apps to Keep You Motivated
See more: The Benefits of Exercise on Mental Health