We’re inundated with advice on fitness and health these days, and much of it falls into the ‘worthy but dull’ category.
Do we really need to hear any more about the recommended daily limits on alcohol consumption or whether or not it is healthy to eat butter?
The basic message is absolutely correct, but what the health gurus often fail to remember is that life has to be fun.
And we would suggest the easiest way to exercise is to walk – and a ramble can be made as much fun as your imagination allows.
The Ramblers have five top tips for fun family walking.
• Make it an adventure: Don’t suggest ‘going for a walk’, make it an outing or adventure to somewhere like a park, a playground, woods or a pond. You could even treat them to a picnic or take something to eat and drink along the way.
• Take it nice and slow: Be prepared to go at their pace, stopping to play and look at things on the way, and to cut the walk short if they get tired. With regular walking children will build up their fitness just as an adult does, but keep walks short until you know about their abilities.
• Go prepared: Make sure they have comfortable clothes and shoes, extra layers in case of rain.
• Bring a friend: Team up with another family, or join a Ramblers group walk that’s suitable for families.
• Get creative: You could plan fun activities and games like a treasure hunt or I Spy. Look out for animals, birds, trees, people, buildings, colours, or collect tree seeds, leaves, shells and small stones. Take photographs along the way youngsters can put in a walker’s diary.
• The Ramblers has developed hundreds of routes that can be downloaded free from www.ramblers.org.uk/ramblersroutes