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At the moment, most of us a feeling a wee bit more tied down and unable to go out for much outdoor exercise during lockdown. However, even though you may have to do the same or similar walks from home for a while, there are ways to make your regular walks more entertaining

1. People dodgems

Inevitable with more people “working from home”, getting out and about on the paths surrounding your home and maintaining your social distance is becoming more difficult. Why not turn it into part of the challenge for your walk? How many people did you see when out today? What did you do to avoid them? How could you manage a completely isolated walk? – Walk at midnight? Can you manage an invisible walk?

2. Include some foraging

Nettles are in season right now, but you’ll have to be quick as they’ll quite quickly become too big to be tender enough to use for soup – recipe coming soon.

Wild garlic is also in season. We have some pasta base and pesto recipes for wild garlic and have also made some wild garlic ice cubes to add to our pasta/stew recipes

Spring foraging recipes to follow shortly

outdoor exercise during lockdown

Wild garlic

outdoor exercise during lockdown

Sorrel

3. Add a birdsong identification app to your phone

Listen to the birds which are out around you and see if you can identify them by the song you here. Check your identification with the app on your phone. You might be surprised what there is in your locale.

4. Download a tree identification app to your phone

The Woodland Trust have  very good tree identification app which now I come to think of it has been recommended by other people to me.

5. Try a night walk and head away from the street lights (if you have this option)

It’s amazing how different a walk can seem at night as opposed to during the day. You could try and do what we’ve done in the past and take a torch with you to spot “eye shine”. This is when your torchlight reflects back off animals’ eyes. For example, you can see from the eye shine that there are a lot more deer out in the woods than you thought during the day

6. (Linked to number 5) Check out a night sky app

There are a few different options and fortunately someone else has already done an analysis of the options. Take a look at this blog.

7. Sign up for audible or see if your library offers virtual audio books to download

If you don’t have an audible subscription yet, I would recommend it. Though there are also plenty of podcasts out there to keep you company on your walk, a book lasts longer. We enjoy audiobooks while we’re travelling in the car, but as we can’t do that at the moment, enjoying some listening while walking a route you’ve done many times before can make things a wee bit more interesting. You might not have anyone else in your household to enjoy outdoor exercise during lockdown, the audiobook could be good company if you choose well. There are also lots of inspiring walking, hiking, climbing and travel books which have been narrated to keep you inspired.

Some recommendations:

Touching the Void (Joe Simpson)

No Shortcuts to the Top (Ed Viesturs)

The Marches (Rory Stewart)

The Living Mountain (Nan Shepherd)

In the Cairngorms (Nan Shepherd)

8. Browse the podcasts and get one to accompany you on your walk

Suggested podcasts:

Scotland Outdoors

The Adventure Podcast

Sounds of the Trail

Of Mountains and Minds

Also checkout this recommended list put together by Much Better Adventures.

9. Time your walk and try to improve every day

10. Share your walks on OSmaps or Strava

Nothing like feeling as if you’re still part of a community, even if it is online!

 

outdoor exercise during lockdown

Any idea what this is supposed to be? Created by the children of Abernethy and Deshar primary schools –
view from Deshar School towards the northern Cairngorms on one of our daily outdoor exercise during lockdown
routes from Fraoch Lodge

However you manage to enjoy your more limited time outdoors this spring, do take care but at the same time – keep fit and ready for a time when we can head back into the outdoors as much as we like.

 

 

 

Winter is a time where people retreat inside and exercise unfortunately takes a backseat. Well not at Scot Mountain Holidays! With the gorgeous Scottish countryside transformed into a winter wonderland, the cooler season becomes one of our favourite. Winter walking also has many benefits. These include, staying active, clear winter views and a sense of accomplishment. So for winter walkers old and new; here are our top tips for winter walking.

 

winter Cairngorms

Winter scenery in the Ryvoan valley, taken by Thomas Barratt on a course with Scot Mountain Holidays

Five top tips for winter walking

  1. Layering

It makes sense that one of the most important things to consider for winter walking is your own comfort. Layering up is a great way to stay warm, and allows easy accessibility to avoid overheating. Avoid materials that will stick to your skin if wet and go for Thermals, fleeces and waterproof jackets.

  1. Get the gear

Getting the right gear for winter walking is vital. Waterproof trousers and jackets are a must have to compete with the mist and snow you might experience. Goggles are a great idea for your face protection along with a buff. And of course, remember to protect your extremities with gloves and a warm hat. However, arguably the most important is boots. Invest in a good pair of hiking boots that have grip and ankle support. Keep in mind that boots, and gear is available for hire through Scot Mountain Holidays, so don’t despair if you don’t have everything you need.

  1. Load up on a warm breakfast

Before heading out ensure you have a big warm breakfast of something substantial. This will keep you’re energy levels up, warm you up and be the right move in starting your day right.

winter walkers

Striding across the snowy slopes in the Cairngorms

  1. Stay active

Whether you’re on a guided walking tour with Scot Mountain Holidays or a self guided tour, staying active in the elements is very important. Although you may be tired, remember hyperthermia can set in if you are stationary for too long. So keep your breaks to a maximum of ten minutes, and try to nibble on something every time you stop.

  1. Stay hydrated

We know that keeping your fluids up in winter is harder than in summer. But, it is by no means less important. When winter walking it’s important to stay hydrated. So similar to eating, remember to hydrate every time you stop and keep your bottle somewhere warm to avoid freezing.

Winter has well and truly hit Scotland and now’s the time to join Scot Mountain Holidays on a winter walking tour. Our top tips for winter walking is just the thing to get you active and reap the rewards this winter.

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