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Keep on stepping

Once you've started stepping more, how do you keep up your new healthy habits? Ross Cunningham shares how he's been getting more active during the working day, and how he's built his new routine into his daily life.

Published: 18/11/2022

When I first got into hillwalking in 2017, I really fell in love with it. It wasn't something I had ever really done much of before but when I caught the bug there was no turning back.

Walking is so good for many reasons - improving mental and physical health are key among them.

But it was really just a weekend thing and through the week I would usually be behind a desk working.

However in the last couple of years, possibly due to the pandemic where the daily exercise held so much value, I started to challenge myself to do more walking on weekdays.

It's hard changing your routine, especially during a working week when there can be quiet a lot going on. But I kept telling myself to get out for some kind of walk each lunch time, even if it was short.

I eventually got in the habit of it to the point where it will feel strange if lunchtime passes and I haven’t managed to get out for a wander somewhere.

I live in Inverkeithing in Fife so I'm close to the Fife Coastal Path. When I’m working from home, I set myself the goal of walking along the Coastal Path to Dalgety Bay and back. The return journey is 2.1 miles exactly so if I do that every weekday that's ten and a half miles of extra walking I'm doing a week.

Weekdays can feel quite hectic. Even a very straightforward job can be stressful sometimes, so getting out for a walk at lunch can do a lot to calm the mind and, importantly, allows you to think about other things besides work.

I would really encourage anyone reading this to make it a target to go for a walk every lunchtime when you can. Try it for a week and ask yourself if you felt better for it. Unless the forecast that week is for torrential rain (!) I’m confident you will feel the benefits of it.