May is National Walking Month, and as we encourage our families to walk around the woodland, it seems a good fit.
Organised by Living Streets, the annual campaign to get us all walking more is focused this year on how regular short walks can be just as beneficial as a long weekly walk. They have several useful downloads to help with ideas – their #Try20 includes a poster with different, fun ways to add walking into your routine.
Our woodland burial ground is open 24/7, requiring a walk along the farm track. While the walk may put some people off, we have found that it in fact offers a wonderful buffer. On the walk down there is an opportunity to let the everyday issues we are facing take a back seat, as we approach spending time with our loved one.
Walking back to ‘real life’ and the demands on our time and attention, this buffer can offer time to move from one state to the other. It can help the process of grief to have that space to reflect.
Once in the woodland, the whole of Walton Woods has footpaths, allowing for any length of walk you feel able to manage.
Benefits of Walking
You can improve your mental and physical health by being out in nature (see our grief post), and the added fresh air can also mean more satisfying sleep.
As a social exercise, walking is a free way to meet up and talk without distractions. In fact, there are a growing number of walking groups, and strong communities growing up around them. For example, you can find a local group of just women, or just men, of people from certain age groups or with particular interests.
You can also find new places (4th favourite reason from the research) to explore. Lockdown has meant lots of us have been walking more in our local area, discovering paths or parks we may not have been to. Now we can venture even further, the opportunity to continue having little adventures is too good to miss!
National Walking Month is a chance to focus our attention, and keep that daily activity going.