The start of a new year usually signals a spike in gym membership figures, as people start their quests to get in shape for the summer. But by February attendance usually dwindles and by then you have already committed to the cost of membership.
Instead, why not think about a cheaper, easier and more convenient alternative: Urban walking? All you have to do is pull on a pair of comfortable shoes and pound the pavements to your heart’s content.
There are a number of items that you can use to make your walking more enjoyable. Here my guest writer suggest her list:
The first item on your shopping list should be a pair of comfortable shoes to protect your feet during your walks. These Panama Jack Felicia boots from Charles Clinkard offer waterproof leather uppers and fur inners, which make them ideal for walking through the colder winter months. The natural rubber outsoles provide great grip in icy conditions, and the premium removable insoles are both hygienic and very comfy.
Another essential item for your walks is a warm and waterproof jacket. This North Face Thermoball hoodie is ideal for the outdoors, with cutting-edge insulation technology that keeps you warm even when it gets a bit wet. The jacket is very lightweight and folds and zips into its own pocket for warmer but fickle weather days.
Track your progress
For those who like the stats, a wearable fitness tracker is perfect. Try one of these FitBit Charge HR wristbands and you can obsess over the facts and figures that it logs as you head along your route. This model can track your steps and distance covered, as well as using its built-in heart monitor to accurately calculate the calories you have burned. All of the information it collects is beamed straight to the app on your smartphone, where you can see it presented in graphs and tables that will keep your brain busy for weeks.
Listen while you walk
One of the most enjoyable aspects of walking is the chance it gives you to get away from the hubbub of your busy life for a while, and what better way to enjoy your time alone than to listen to a good book as you go. Audible is an audiobook company that offers a number of subscription options for people who like to listen to their books on the move. You can listen to your favourite novel from the easy-to-use app on your smartphone, which even remembers exactly where you were up to for next time. The trouble is, you won’t want to stop walking until the end of the next chapter.
Pack a picnic
If you’re heading out for a long walk, you might want to pack a few snacks and a drink to enjoy on the trip. There are plenty of parks and green areas within urban areas, and if you want to bring along your lunch, this Patagonia Toromiro backpack will keep your food dry and in one piece. With a 22 litre capacity, the rucksack can also cover you for day trips or as hand luggage on a trip away. It is available in a range of colourful styles, and Patagonia’s reputation for excellent build quality will mean you have a bag for life.
All of these great items really will enhance your urban walking experience, making it more comfortable and enjoyable than slogging it out at your local gym. Your next steps should be to get on your feet and enjoy your walk.