• Maddie Cowey

Walking 100km in May

Hello lovely people, I hope you're all doing okay. My last blog was a pretty heavy, but necessary, one, and more are on their way, but for today's blog I wanted to talk about something a tad lighter and share my May challenge.


This year I have been taking part in the 500km Virtual Runner challenge in aid of Sarcoma UK, aiming to run/walk/swim/cycle 500km over the course of 2020. On top of this I have been taking on a challenge every month to further my fundraising efforts. Back in April I did 20 burpees a day (check out that blog here for a video of me jumping about), and this May, what with it being National Walking Month, I decided to walk 100km over the month. I logged every walk I went on, and didn't count general steps/distance around the house/garden - each walk had to be recorded from start to finish and had to be intentional to count towards my final distance.


I am happy to say I managed 106km of walking in May! Goal achieved!


The month was great, I was blessed with amazing weather, and it was the perfect time of year to explore the outdoors, with flowers blooming all over the place. Also, the challenge forced me to explore different and new parks and areas that I had barely noticed before. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for nature - of course I appreciated it before, but I am noticing my surroundings so much more now. I guess having this time in lockdown does have some positives, eh?


Walking is Super Healthy don't you know?


In a report produced by Macmillan and the Ramblers, it was found that physical inactivity causes 6% of deaths around the world, making it one of the top four global killers. They say that nearly 37,000 deaths every year could be prevented by walking. Walking for Health is England's largest network of walking schemes offering free walks across the country every week. They believe the answer to the country's obesity problem is walking.


But why walking?


Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise, it's free, low impact, you can do it anywhere. It is also much better for the environment as a mode of transport, so isn't just beneficial for your health!


It's not just your physical health that is benefited either, but Walking for Health say walking "improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover."


As long as you are fit and able, it seems getting walking is the answer to all of your problems! Walking for Health also organise walks especially for people with learning disabilities, make sure many are accessible for wheelchair users, and organise friendly walks for people with other disorders such as dementia.


My Walks


I took loads of photos from my walks in May, reminding me just how beautiful they were. Some of the places I explored over the month include: Keston Ponds, Grangewood Park, Streatham Common, Tooting Common, Clissold Park, Springfield Park. They vary from South to North London as I live in South London but I visited my boyfriend in North London during the month. I feel so lucky to be living in London with so many well kept green spaces.

It was interesting as the month went on, as lockdown was slowly eased, how my walks changed. May was when we were allowed to stop on our daily exercise, sit in the park, have a picnic, sunbathe, whatever we liked, with no time limit. I must say finally getting to stop, take an innocent breather, or even eat my lunch in the park - was lovely. Something as simple as sitting on the grass in the park was suddenly so special. As the month went on, the parks got increasingly busier, making keeping to the 2m distance slightly more difficult (though not impossible!). It's interesting to observe how people are reacting to the easing of lockdown, and I'm glad this challenge forced me to go out, explore, and observe.


Podcasts


My month of walking also gave me an opportunity to get listening to lots of podcasts, a medium that has grown in popularity in recent years. I enjoyed some far more than others, but I will give you a couple recommendations.


  1. Cosmopolitan's All The Way With... This podcast, hosted by two Cosmo writers, is about all things sex. No hiding from it. Every episode stars a new guest with a story to tell and a topic to discuss. Every single episode has taught me something new, and although probably most interesting for women, there are many topics discussed that everyone should listen to. The podcast is also hilarious as well as informative. You won't be disappointed.

  2. How To Fail with Elizabeth Day... I have to admit I only listened to one episode, the one starring Daisy Edgar-Jones who played Marianne in Normal People, but I enjoyed it so much I had to recommend it. The podcast features a new guest every episode, where they are encouraged to share their biggest 'failures'. It teaches you how to celebrate the things you deem as failures, which I think is a great concept!


I have since listened to many other podcasts, but these were my top picks in May. What have you guys been listening to? I'd love some more recommendations.


I have made a lil gallery of my favourite photos from my walks if you'd like to have a flick through.


This month we've been hit with rain - what's that about?! So, I haven't been walking as much. As much as it was nice to have a goal last month that forced me out of the house, I do like not feeling any pressure this month to walk a certain distance if I don't want to... Maybe that's the lazy in me talking, because really I can't think of any negatives to my 100km in May.


If you're feeling a bit sluggish today, why not try and get out and go for a short walk? Even if it doesn't get your out of that slump, I promise you won't regret it.


June has been a less active month for me, and I still haven't started a challenge. If anyone has an idea for a week long challenge I could start next week I would love to hear suggestions. (Maybe 1 week eating vegan? Something like that? Let me know!)


Thanks for reading guys, until next time! M x

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