The Benefits of Walking and being in the Great Outdoors 1

The Benefits of walking and spending time outside

Walking. A necessary action to take ourselves to where we need to be, quite literally. However, the simple act of walking and spending time outside can be underestimated as a tool for health and wellbeing. The amount of benefits regular walking and fresh air has, is truly remarkable! Physically, mentally and spiritually, walking can lift you and recharge your mind. 

Some of the great aspects of walking are that it’s free, it has absolutely no cost involved. Unless of course, you are attending a professionally organised walk, such as our EDGE UK Adventure Trips. There is little risk of injury associated with walking, and it’s low impact, making it available to most people. It’s easy to start and build up to longer routes too. So what’s stopping you?

The Great Outdoors

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With powerful advances in technology, and endless time spent in front of screens and smartphones, simplifying your routine and getting back to nature, can seem increasingly inviting. Switching your phone off, and being at one with the outside world can be just the tonic you need. Here we discuss just a few perks a big breath of clean, green air can bring.

Walking and being outdoors tends to go hand in hand unless you’re walking up and down the stairs 30 times a day, but even then you wouldn’t feel the benefit of the wonders that are fresh air & sunlight. 

  • Vitamin D is essential for your immune system, bones and blood cells, and helps the body to absorb important minerals.
  • Helps to build relationships. 
  • Being outside can help to improve your self-esteem, even more so if you are near greenery or running water.
  • Being outside could help to heal you from illness and injury more quickly.
  • Concentration is improved; generally outside helping to improve focus, and generate new ideas.
  • Being outside is linked with being generally happier and healthier.
EDGE Image 2EDGE Travel Worldwide Ben NevisEDGE Travel Worldwide Hadrians Wall
SnowdonBen NevisHadrian’s Wall

Mind

Happiness is a guaranteed by product of exercise. 1

We hear talk all the time about mindset and positivity, but the mindset is truly the key to success and happiness. When we walk, we release ‘Serotonin’ and ‘Dopamine’ – happy chemicals that help to lift our mood, similar to the feeling you get after a workout (Or eating chocolate!). One of the best parts about walking is that it doesn’t need to take hours out of your day; taking just 20-30 minutes to go for a stroll can help to recalibrate the mind – especially if you are having trouble focussing on a particular task. BUT these aren’t the only mental benefits that walking brings, take a look below to find out what a simple meander can do for you –

  • It could decrease the risk of developing anxiety or depression by 30%. Try to focus on the rhythm of your feet touching the ground, tune into the sounds you can hear and take long deep breaths – all of these small actions will help you to drown out constant worries, and become more relaxed.
  • A positive boost to your mood, going for a walk with a friend can help defeat feelings of isolation. Whilst making the most of the daylight has proven to decrease the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder too.
  • Clearer thoughts and strengthening of memory – walking helps to clear the mind and allows your brain to become focussed and ready for the next task, as well as encouraging the development of new brain cells.
  • Resilience – walking can help you cope with everyday stresses in a healthy and controlled way, instead of using alcohol and other unhealthy coping mechanisms, try going for a brisk walk to reduce the impact of worry. 
  • Better sleep patterns – studies have shown that just a few thousand extra steps per day can lead to falling asleep faster, as well as a better quality night sleep.
  • Creativity! Walking can help the mind become more creative and innovative. You may find that ideas come to you whilst you’re out enjoying a walk, more so than when you’re sat at your desk. 

Physical Wellbeing

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As if all that wasn’t enough to entice you to get up and go, walking also offers a plethora of physical benefits.

  • Calorie burn. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise, and it can be easy to burn off a few hundred calories on an hours walk, without realising it. A great, low impact activity, that can help you shed a few pounds if you need to. 
  • Keep your heart happy! It has been shown that walking 5 days a week for half an hour, can decrease your risk of coronary heart disease by 19%, as well as improving your circulation.
  • Walking can strengthen your bones and muscles.
  • Walking could prolong your life – studies have shown that those who take regular walks in their fifties are 35% less likely to die in the next 10 years. 
  • Supporting your joints – walking helps to lubricate the joints in your knees and hips. The movement brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and joints. 
  • Improvement to the immune system, and less sick days from work.
  • Increased lung capacity, and improves the general health of your lungs, due to increased oxygen flow.

Top Tips!

Our Top Tips for getting the most out of your walk.

  • Listening to your favourite music has been linked to a happier mood.
  • Invest in a pedometer, or an activity tracker – this way you can ensure you are reaching 10,000 steps per day.
  • Mix up your routes to make it interesting.
  • Make a habit of going for a 20-minute stroll after dinner.
  • Instead of using the car, why not walk to the shops, or walk the children to and from school – if you can!

Our EDGE UK Adventure Trips are the perfect place to start, why not have a browse and find out if any take your fancy! Click here to discover all the professionally organised UK walks we offer.

If you would like to find out more about how being active outside can bring positivity to your life, then please have a look at the useful links below. They have been really useful in helping to expand our knowledge of the benefits of walking too. 

The Importance of being outside.

https://askthescientists.com/outdoors/

How physical activity benefits our health. 

https://www.healthy-heart.org/keep-your-heart-healthy/physical-activity/

https://www.healthy-heart.org/keep-your-heart-healthy/stress-and-sleep/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/walking-for-health/

Sleep Quality

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-does-exercise-help-those-chronic-insomnia

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-exercise-impacts-sleep-quality

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Customer Reviews

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Customer Reviews

Chris, Frodsham

What can I say, this was the experience of a lifetime and was fantastic! Every aspect of the trip for me was handled with professionalism and care with everyone’s safety and enjoyment paramount. The local guides and contacts were fantastic, plainly experienced and some of the loveliest people I have met. Walking at high altitude (19,500 ft at the top) comes with its own risks but I felt that every step of the way our wellbeing and health was being looked after and I am happy to say I would trust my life to Dave and his teams on any of his trips. I got so many things form this trip, meeting new people, walking at altitude, spending so much time laughing and being able to mentally unwind. The achievement of reaching the top of the highest free-standing mountain in the world, seeing the sunrise over Africa, has and will stay with me forever. It has given me the mental strength to do other things in life and when things have got tough afterwards I have been able to say to myself “You walked to the top of the highest free standing mountain in the world, you have got this” and it has inevitably got me through. A massive thank you to Dave and all at EDGE Travel Worldwide for this life changing experience and I can’t wait to go on the next one.

Jayne, Shrewsbury

It has been a privilege to walk with the people I have met. Many of them, friends for life. On my first EDGE Travel Worldwide trip I took my daughter to Machu Picchu. To share such an adventure with her was incredible and we will treasure the memories forever . It changes your mindset seeing the culture and a view if life in a different way .
It’s hard to put into words how much Edge Travel worldwide has changed our lives as a family for the better . Through meeting Sarah and then Dave I have travelled to Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro & I have now reserved my third adventure

This was my second EDGE trip, this time I took my son , we loved it every second of it . Kilimanjaro is so much more than just the summit it’s the journey before and after . The people that care for you, the guides the trek the adventure folds out in pages like a chapter in front of you you can’t wait to turn the next page . The joy of this experience is you take it home with you and the feeling of such an achievement stays with you . I feel healthier, fitter and addicted to altitude. At the time it’s a tough challenge but to push yourself out of normal daily life and out if your comfort zone its an experience I will never forget . For me it’s about making the most of the time we are here and trying to stay fit as long as I can and share these incredible accomplishments in the knowledge the next adventure is out there. Without Dave none of this would have been possible. The encouragement, guidance and kindness extends far beyond a trip. I have seen Dave show my children how to overcome fear of heights, learn about weather conditions, believe in themselves and succeed without any limits. These are priceless travel experiences and we want to thank you for making our dreams come true for me and my family.

Toni, Leicester

IF you’ve seen and have been inspired by the Comic Relief Killimanjaro climb and are interested in finding out how you too could get close to this amazing mountain and have a wonderful adventure!
IF you wish to challenge and grow yourself in the company of other wonderful inspiring people then you need to meet Dave Pickles from EDGE Travel Worldwide.
We had the most amazing time. We were all from different backgrounds ,different age groups , different fitness levels , and Dave brought us together as a TEAM!
We laughed , cried , sang , stumbled , hugged and shared this amazing experience together .
What you can’t see in the Comic Relief film are the amazing porters who carry the provisions , care for the climbers , encourage every step of the way and who make the journey so special .
I reached the summit holding hands with Hilary – he sang softly for hours as we climbed the mountain in the moonlight and this was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life so far .

Yvonne, Kingsmead

Kilimanjaro, wow – I wanted a challenge and that is what I got!

I absolutely loved this trip; the itinerary was well put together with Dave Pickles coordinating every day seamlessly. The local crew of Porters and Guides were so incredibly funny, friendly, humble and kind, I felt that I was always in safe hands.

I was travelling alone, but within minutes of meeting people at the airport, friendships were made and a lovely group was born. Two thirds of the group knew each other previously but this did not really impact on the group dynamics, everyone integrated well.

This trek took me way out of my comfort zone…I have reasonable fitness level, but I found this so hard, particularly the summit night when altitude sickness descended. But it made the success all the sweeter when I reached the very top of highest freestanding mountain in the world. Ages in our group ranged from 19-74, young and young at heart got to the top, so it really is achievable for all with the right mindset and support.

Dave gave clear guidelines to follow from the outset, rest is best, hydration, pace and relaxation…his support, enthusiasm and vast experience gave me so much confidence in my ability to succeed. Dave constantly encourages, jokes, entertains and manages people in a fun and positive way, striving to give each individual person such an epic experience. He balances that comedic, approachable charm with military organisation and calm professionalism – it is most certainly Dave and his ethos that gives Edge Travel the ‘edge’ above other similar operators.

I could have booked this trip directly with any tour guide in Tanzania, but to be able to draw on Dave’s expertise and knowledge leading up to the trip as well as whilst we were away was invaluable.

Only one small flaw in the itinerary, it would have been wonderful to have an additional day by the pool in our hotel at the end with our group to digest our achievements and raise a toast with a few Kilimanjaro beers! That was just the luck of the draw with the flights and not a complaint, I guess I should have just booked that extra week in Zanzibar after all.

I am rather proud to achieved what I have with the help of Edge Travel, it is all still sinking in and already I can’t wait to plan the next adventure…

Paul, Sandbach

I went on the 2019 trek and what an incredible trip! Certainly tougher than I expected especially on the final ascent but well worth it to have the experience of standing on the roof of Africa. The diversity of landscapes that are experienced throughout the trek is amazing. I would like to highlight that throughout the trip Dave and the team in Tanzania were incredible and the whole trip was made easier knowing that I was in completely safe hands and would thank everyone for their professionalism, care and attention. One of the many memorable moments for me was on the final ascent walk the Tanzania team could see that people were flagging and began singing which I know had an inspirational impact on me and certainly helped get me to the top and speaking to others it had a similar effect. I would not hesitate to recommend Edge Travel to others and also am looking forward to going on another Edge trek.

Angela, Sheffield

I did this trip with Dave in 2017. From start to finish it was the most emotional experience of my life. It was bloody hard, testing and satisfying. I choose the right company for my experience that goes without saying. I didn’t know anyone on the trip but from the end of day 1 I made friends for life and I genuinely mean that. I adore everyone of the team I walked with.
If your looking for a challenge I would defo recommend this one.

Paulina, Spalding

Tanzania and Kilimanjaro was my first trip I did with EDGE. I remember I kept asking myself before the trip if it was really happening. So it did happen and even that until today it’s still the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life I feel I found myself on that mountain. Believe or not I actually did it again for the second time six months later! And want to go again.. Am I addicted? 😀
Tanzania feels like another home to me with kind people, tasty food and great scenery. You won’t be disappointed!

Wendy, Llangollen

This was my first EDGE trek with Dave in September 2016. I am 100% certain I wouldn’t have submitted without Dave. He has summited Kilimanjaro over 50 times and his vast experience is very evident. His understanding of every emotion a trekker on this mountain is going through is uncanny. His ability to feed you enough information for a successful trek is invaluable. The pace is slow to allow safe acclimatising. Up until the summit attempt this feels like a trek that only gradually gets more challenging. Summit night was a whole level tougher but reaching the crater rim with sunrise felt like I was on a film set. Summiting was surreal (take plenty of photos) I descended quickly and enjoyed feeling the air thickening again at about the same pace the enormity of what I’d achieved really did start sinking in. I definitely have to do this one again as it still feels like a dream!

Phil, Leeds 20/07/2020

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Mandy, Bury St. Edmunds 20/07/2020

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A great experience from start to finish! Thank you ☺️
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