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12 years ago I found walking a way to get back some fitness and time out for myself. All you need are good trainers/walking boots and if possible, someone to walk with. I turned to my sister. Together we started pounding the streets, and when that got too boring we figured out countryside routes that we could do between nursery drop off and pick up. Then we entered for the half Moon Walk in London, declaring at the end that those nutters who did another loop to complete the full 26 miles needed their bumps feeling. 2 years later we joined those nutters, it was a really great, exhausting night

Now I walk with friends too, friends with dogs, friends without, friends who want to catch up and friends who just need to get away from their desk for an hour.  The rhythm of walking, the fresh air, the changing of the seasons and the views all add to the pleasure. Each year my sister and I have set ourselves a goal of something we want to see. We’ve seen a skylark ascending, we’ve come across a stoat who gave us a full on ‘what’s your problem’ stare, a buzzard once nearly gave us a heart attack by crouching low in some long grass and as we approached he took off right in front of us, we’ve seen an adder sunbathing on a rock, a kingfisher doing what he does best and just before Christmas a long held ambition – we saw a hare on the brow of a hill before he used his enormous leg muscles to take off in the opposite direction.

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This year, along with everyone else it seems, I decided to invest in a device that counts steps. It clips onto your clothes and at the end of the day it gives a graph on the computer of how many steps have been taken over the course of the day. It really does raise awareness of how much you move (or don’t!).

Walking has been a sanity saver, a thigh trimmer, and a good opportunity to catch up with friends and family. Do you walk?

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