Week 9 26/2/17 – 4/3/17

This past week I have not managed to push my stats to where I would have liked them to be, instead of hitting between 55000 and 60000 this week, I have fallen slightly behind (and also fallen back on last weeks step total) to 48771 total steps for the week.  This is still not too bad, I’m hitting over 50% of the average recommended daily steps and hitting 6967 as an overall average.  I have not managed to get out at lunch times, the weather for the past week has not been too great, cold and wet, which has seen me take soup for lunch to work and put me off of going out at lunch times.

This week I am hoping to hit a step average of 7200 per day, any more will be a bonus!

How did you do last week?  What are your aims this week?

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Spring Walks

There is no better way of seeing Spring coming into season than being outdoors.  All around there will be signs of spring – buds on trees, bulbs and new growth peeking from the soil, lambs frolicking in fields, bluebells and snowdrops starting to appear, bracken starting to unfurl new leaves.  There are lots of places that these signs can be seen and here are a few of my favorite places to visit in spring, and a couple of reasons why thrown in too!

Pontypool Park

Pontypool Park is around 120 acres of park land, with grassy areas, mature trees and the Afon Llwyd river running along one edge of the grounds.  There are lots of different paths you can take that lead to so many different things, like the walk up to the refurbished Nant-y-Gollen ponds where, if you sit quietly, you can see frogs and tadpoles in the water.  There are walks through woodland where you will be able to see new growth appearing on the trees, buds of blossom starting to form and other plant life just starting to emerge.  And if you are feeling energetic, up a short, steep slope lies the Grotto and not too far away is the Folly which to get to, you will need to cross some pasture land and might get a chance to see some lambs in the nearby fields!

Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Walking along the canal from Goetre Wharf towards Abergavenny is a lovely walk to do in the spring.  Walking by the water, looking a the reflection of the sky and being able to look at all the animals grazing as you make your way on your journey is a perfect way to spend a few hours on a weekend.  The canal weaves its way through wooded areas, fields and past some waterside houses.  You might be able to spot fish in the water, see ducks and ducklings, swans and cygnets along with sheep and cows and their babies too!  You should be able to spot sings of spring all around you from trees and plants to animals and insects.

Talybont-On-Usk

Talybont-On-Usk is set in the Brecon Beacons and is beautiful to walk any time of the year yet for me there is something magical in seeing this landscape starting to wake after the months of winter.  There are lots of different walks to go on and plenty of things to see along the way, waterfalls, streams, woodland, grass land, and all the wildlife that goes along with it.  You should be able to spot lambs in the surrounding fields and bulbs starting to shoot up as well as see the new growth on the bracken as you walk through the landscape.

Wherever you are planning on walking please adhere to the Countryside Code of Conduct, keep dogs on leads and be careful around baby animals – not only can they scare easily but the parents can be very protective of their young and become aggressive if you approach to closely.

Where are your favorite spring time walks?

Week 8 -9/2/17 – 25/2/17

Last week I said that I would like to push my average steps to around 9500 steps, I didn’t manage that but nearly maintained the steps I took hitting a grand total of 55133.  I’m not too unhappy about that figure as maintaining is better than being lots under.  Saturday and Sunday are still my most inactive days and I really do need to work at this to get these days to at least 5000 steps, doing this will see a huge improvement on my overall stats.  My best day was Tuesday where I hit 11064 steps though I don’t really know how I managed that as I can’t remember doing anything different to any other day!

This week I am going to try and maintain my steps to anything between 55000 and 60000.  Anything more will be a bonus!  And I will try and get out at lunch time for a walk too!

How did you do this week?  What are your goals for this week?

Ten Y Fan

The Ten-Y-Fan challenge is an annual walking challenge set in Wales that sees people walking up and down Pen-Y-Fan (the highest mountain in South Wales UK!) 10 times in 24 hours all for charity, over 40 miles in total will be covered by each participant!.  The challenge this year is supporting 2 fab charities – Wish Upon A Star (a bereavement service for families who loose a child unexpectedly), monies raised will help them to improve services available, and Dreams And Wishes which helps children with serious illness see their wishes come true.

For more information on the Ten-Y-Fan challenge, to sign up or donate please visit http://www.ten-y-fan.org/home

Are you taking part in the challenge?

Week 7 – 12/2/17 – 18/2/17

Last week I said that I hoped to improve on that weeks total step stats and this week I can now reveal that I really did improve!  I hit a total 59860 steps, that’s an average of 8551 steps per day!  I hit 10000 steps (or over) on 2 days, over 9000 on 3 and I’m not far off reaching 10000 steps per day overall!  I am still struggling with Saturday and Sunday, though this is something I have been aware of since I started this blog, for me Saturday and Sunday are days of rest and catching up on things I haven’t done in the week, spending time with my partner who works away mon-fri and generally chilling.  In order to hit my goal of 10000 steps a day average I am going to need to absorb 20000steps into my normal week (mon-fri) so that anything else I move on the weekend becomes a bonus!  This means that I realistically need to be hitting 14000 steps on 5 days a week.   I think this may be what I am going to start aiming for instead of 10000 steps a day just to fit my lifestyle a bit better and stop me feeling so bad for having lazy weekends (not that there is anything wrong with a lazy weekend!)  Once the weather starts to improve and it is both lighter an warmer I may adjust this as I seem to be more active in the warmer months.

I dont think I will be making it my goal to hit 14000 steps 5 days out of 7 just yet…its a bit of a leap from an average of 8551 steps per day, so this week my goal is to push my average to around 9500 steps a day.

What are your goals this week?  How have you improved?  What do you want to change?

Walking Routes

I still have not managed to get out and explore any new areas yet on walks but I am now able to venture a bit further of an evening as the nights are getting slowly lighter. I have been thinking about walks I would like to do though and am thinking about heading back to St David’s over Easter and walking along the coast again. The route I think I might do is one that was featured on Weatherman Walking the other week (series 10 episode 4 … which can be found here on iplayer). The route that Derek Brockway took is very similar to the one that I walked the previous year and takes you past the Blue Lagoon and Porthgain (can you spot me on googlemaps in Porthgain?!!!) .

I have really been enjoying the Weatherman Walking series as Derek has been to a few places that I have been but not explored properly, the other episode that I really enjoyed as I had been there is the Three Cliffs Bay episode. I am definitely going to be exploring his route when I next visit the Gower!

You can find lots of information on his walks and walking routes on his website – www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4r0gdLJc3Hnm7t0k2cD3ZP4/maps-and-route-information and is worth a look at as it has some fab resources on it!

Have you seen any of the Weatherman Walking episodes? Where do you want to visit and explore from the series?

Treasure Hunt

There are many different types of treasure hunt that you can do on walks, from previously going out and doing the walk alone, hiding things along the way and marking the points on a map, indicating where treasures can be found by saying “hotter” when the finder is getting close or “colder” as they move away from the item or leaving clues as to the location of the next treasure. All methods of “finding” the treasure can teach little ones valuable skills – from map reading to orienteering and problem solving, however this treasure hunt method requires forward planning though and may be something that is difficult to plan in advance.

My favorite form of a treasure hunt comes in the form of a Scavenger Hunt, which is essentially a list of things to find on your walks accompanied by some tick boxes, as you find the items you tick them off the list. It is helpful to carry a bag or small bucket or box of some description which you can place your found items in so you can show all the people in your group at the end. This kind of treasure hunt is brilliant as you can add different things to the list depending on the season or where the walk will take place, and you can break the list into different types too… Easy Things to Find/Hard Things to Find, or assign points to each item – the person with the most points or items wins.

Here’s a list you could use

Easy Things to Find – 5 Points per item

* Hazelnut seed (5pts)

* Oak Leaf (5pts)

* Moss (5pts)

* Twig (5pts)

* A smooth pebble (5pts)

* Blade of grass (5pts)

* Bit of bark (5pts)

* A rough stone (5pts)

* A dandelion flower (5pts)

* A dock leaf (5pts)

Score (A) = /50

Hard Things to Find – 10 Points per Item

* A Snail Shell (10pts)

* Animal Fur (10pts)

* A key ring hoop(10pts)

* A piece of String(10pts)

* A coin (10pts)

* A round stone (10pts)

* A seed pod (10pts)

* 3 pine cones on a twig (10pts)

* A Huge leaf (10pts)

* A  Bird Feather (10pts)

Score(B) = /100

Total Score = A + B = /150

Have you been on a treasure hunt or created one?  What sort of things did you “hunt” for?

To January

January was a cold and dark month that seemed to be never ending, the darkness in both the morning and evening impacted on my walks which then affected my steps per day.  I have been logging my steps per day and have set myself a challenge each week to try and beat the previous weeks step total which is encouraging me to get more active in the day and to find ways to get more steps in day to day.

The weather is not really getting any better yet, this weekend we are predicted to have snow but I’m hoping that it isn’t too bad.  The nights are starting to get lighter though which is lovely as it feels like spring is now within reach and gives me a bigger window of opportunity to get out, even if it is only for 20mins with Roxy.

I achieved a total of 163800 steps in January, an average of 5284 steps per day.  I’m aiming to beat this in February, and am aiming for around 7000 steps per day average!

I’m hoping, this month, that I will be able to hit 10000 steps on more than one or 2 occasions, and be able to get out for longer walks each night.

What did you achieve in January?

Mini First Aid Kits

I spoke before about First Aid Kits and what sort of things you could carry with you in your walking bag (the post is here )but today’s “Best” post looks at kits that you can purchase, ready made up, and carry with you…

The first one that I really like is this one that can be purchased in Boots.  It is designed for travel (holidays) but is perfectly equipped with things that can be of assistance to an injured walker.  The kit contains things to treat cuts, insect bites, blisters and a range of other things too and has the St John seal of approval.

boots-fa-1

My second favorite is this one from Lifesystems which has been recommended by the Duke Of Edinborough’s Award (a youth awards programme where walking is part of the award).  It contains items to treat cuts, grazes and all manner of other wounds that can be sustained when out walking.

lifesystems

The third choice would be this one from Eurekadirect.  While it is aimed at cyclists it  contains the basics that you would need on a walk should you need to treat cuts, grazes or blisters.

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I like all three of these kits and they would comfortably fit into a rucksack, not taking up too much space or adding much weight to your pack but offering reassurance.

Do you have a first aid kit?  Did you buy it or make it up yourself?  What is the most useful item you have in yours?

 

Walks In Pictures

I don’t have any pictures for you for this month as the weather has been really bad and I haven’t wanted to take my camera out with me – that and it has still been dark when I’m heading out with Roxy in the evenings so finding things to take photos of has been a bit difficult.  The good news though is that it is getting lighter and lighter of an evening and soon, by the time I am home from work and heading out for my evening walks it will be lighter and more suitable to take photos!

This month I am going to share with you some of my favorite images that I took from last years walks just as a look back and remember what I have seen….