Author Topic: Walking is good for us , I think most would agree , but ..  (Read 894 times)

GinAndPlatonic

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Apologies if this has been covered before . I love walking but I have noticed as I age , that less is more . When I was in my thirties I wanted to walk further and faster . It was an ego thing I suppose . I know this topic may have been covered in some ways , about distances walked  etc , but  I`m thinking more along the lines of how others feel the following few days after a challenging walk (or not)

I am now 65 and one thing I notice more nowadays is that further is not always better for me in terms of mental & physical well being , especially two days after the walk . I can sometimes have a drop in mood around two days after those natural highs I always get during the walk and the natural high stays with me for around 36 hours or so . Is it withdrawal symptoms after the endorphins disappear . ?  ???

The heat especially of late , has more than likely had a big influence on how I feel physically after a walk of 12 mile or more . It seems to me that my personal optimum distance is at the moment is around 10 mile depending on ascent etc .
I am not after starting a more is best or not thread . I`m just curious what feels best for others & if their moods change during the following few days after a walk .  :) O0
« Last Edit: 15:20:59, 28/06/20 by GinAndPlatonic »

Dodgylegs

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My body has been the problem for walking any distance since my forties, but since physio advised walking to strengthen back I've gone from only being able to walk a few miles, struggling with leg movements going up hills and steps and basically legs seizing up, to the number of miles I never thought possible.


So I have been able (until current knee issues!) to lengthen the distance I can walk, which allows routes to be undertaken i.e. on Pennine Way, that would not have been possible. I am not in any way a fast walker and enjoy stopping to look at views and behind to see where I've travelled. Aware some Pennine Way walkers are just after challenging themselves rather then enjoying their surroundings.


I still get a massive satisfaction from being out in various landscapes, challenging myself to plan then undertake walks and with meeting people from all over the World, but have not noticed any change in mood afterwards, unless I've struggled too much on route, but that's more down to medical issues.


A couple of years ago I started to walk up Great Shunner Fell from Hardraw and met an old guy, well past 65, reading his map. We chatted and started to walk up together. He said he had heart problems, he had some seriously worrying gasping moments, but was determined to get to the top. Was a good athlete and mountain climber in 'his day', realised his time was up for doing such strenuous walks.
« Last Edit: 15:47:41, 28/06/20 by Dodgylegs »

ninthace

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I find that these days our preferred walking regime is veering to little and often.  We used to walk 2 or 3 times a week, weather permitting.  Each walk usually involved a drive of between an hour and an hour and a half to get to the start.  By the time we had finished, driven back, showered etc the day was virtually gone.  These days we tend to walk any day the weather is favourable but travel less distance to get to the start and walk perhaps 2km less then we used to.  That way we can bang in a walk and still have time for other things.
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gunwharfman

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I personally find that my desire to hike is as strong as ever, although the Covid-19 problem has knocked me sideways. I'm very lucky that I do not have any muscular, arthritic, or any other problems or issues at the moment. Mind you I do wake up most mornings and think is this the day when I'll get my comeuppance? It hasn't happened yet but I'm sure it will, but I just don't know when. I only have one small problem which I just 'walkthrough,' after a day or two my toes 'burn,' its a most unusual pain but after 24-48 hours it just goes away! Over the years I've also had a few days when I just put up my tent, get in, and just 'sleep off mood' but in the mornings I've always managed to bounce back. Mornings have always been the best time for, the evenings can be but not always.

When I've hiked the first couple of days for me are always the worst, it really takes me a while to get into a rhythm. I also never feel at my best at the start of a hike and if I'm going to feel miserable and under-motivated it will be in the first 2 or 3 days.

I've learned to live with it, I recognize that no matter what it's going to happen anyway, and nowadays having this personal knowledge is also what helps me to get through it. I'm also one of those who prefer longer walks (7 days or more) rather than short ones and I'm not a keen day walker either. That's one of the reasons why I run each day.

My greatest problem when hiking is usually after a week, personal loneliness moods can set in, one of the reasons why pubs are important to me, I like to go in one each day and make the effort to talk to people. My worst memory was walking in the Pyrenees and not seeing one human being for 4 days! That was really depressing.

SteamyTea

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I have never been one for breaking records, even personal ones.
Doing a physical job in the evenings also stops me doing longer walks.  I don't want to turn up at work tired, that is how accidents happen.
So I tend to do between 6 and 10 miles, preferably with a coffee break.


Last two weeks I have not been out on any adventures, had too much work related stuff to deal with now that there are more and more holiday makers down.  Hopefully in the next week or so we should have workable systems in place, that will free up some more time.
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Bigfoot_Mike

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Injuries over the past few years have limited my walking. In my mind I can still walk for long distances, I just need to get my fitness back and lose the weight I have gained. My big problem is trying too much too soon, which can lead to injuries being aggravated. I am still a fast walker, but am not interested in setting any records.


I find it takes me a bit of time to get into a walk and it can be tempting not to start. However, once I am on the move, I am always glad I made the effort.

barewirewalker

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I think you seem to be walking the sort of distances we did a bit over a decade ago, I am now 77 never really went into challenges and the longer distances were usually a shorter route being extended by and urge to find out more.

I have friends, who got into walking by supported a friend through a bad period of grief. The more I reflect my experiences, I realise that the mental health issues that can be aided by being out in the countryside are as if not more important than the physical, which can be cloned in a gym. I grew up have freedom to roam about 2000 acres freely, half of it unofficially. To find fences is to find queries and queries need solutions, as my areas become reduced with age, the map in my mind come up with different conundrums
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WhitstableDave

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I took up walking as my main leisure activity just under 4 years ago and a few months after I'd stopped smoking. I'd been walking for pleasure for a few months before that (with hourly fag breaks), but when I was given a GPS watch (as an early 64th birthday present) I began to walk further and faster, and I explored further afield and mapped my walks.

I'm very definitely one for breaking personal records. I like to think that if I can do something this year that I couldn't do before, then (in a sense) I'm not getting older just yet. Last month I walked more miles and recorded more steps than in any previous month in my life and 2 weeks ago I walked further at my maximum cruising speed than I'd ever done before. At the present time, I'm fitter than I've ever been. I know this can't go on forever, but I intend to keep it going for as long as I can!

I don't restrict myself to any particular style or type of walking. In non-pandemic times, I like to go to a faraway part of Kent at least once a week to explore new paths and places. Last winter, I completed my target of walking every single road and path in my nearest town (and most in my next nearest two towns too). I like to walk my local country lanes, farmland and woods just as much as I like mountain- and hill-walking in Scotland, Wales and national parks. I like to see how fast I can go over long distances, but I also like to amble and enjoy spotting and identifying wildflowers, trees and crops. I've never understood why some seem to think that walking is an 'either / or' - as in '...challenging themselves rather than enjoying their surroundings'; surely it's entirely possible to do both!

I think that variety is important and that if I were to do only one kind of walking then I'd get bored and probably do something else instead. Targets, aims, new things to try and new places to go are what motivate me. Becoming fitter (or at least maintaining my fitness level) is probably even more important and I've very recently decided I'd like to get into trail running (or perhaps fast-packing or whatever a combination of walking and running is called!). It might never happen, but I've started to run a bit (something I thought I'd never do in a million years), and my first pair of trail running shoes should arrive tomorrow...  :)
« Last Edit: 17:56:50, 28/06/20 by WhitstableDave »

Mel

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What feels best for me is little and often, slow and steady.  I do feel better, mood-wise, after a full day walk, ideally in the wilds of nowhere.  This feeling lasts a couple of days.  Wears off about the same time as my aching leg muscles too  ;D




I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. - John Coffey, The Green Mile

Dovegirl

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My walks have got longer and I think this is partly because the more I've walked the more stamina I've built up and partly just because I so much love walking.  But I don't set myself challenges. Enjoying the walk and seeing the landscape are for me what matters, and I'm happy to do short walks as well as long ones.

I usually set off with a sense of adventure, and walking often brings me life-enhancing feelings of freedom, peace and exhilaration. Sometimes I wish I could just go on and on walking. The feeling of well-being fades on the journey home but if, when I get home, I'm able to have a quiet, chilled out evening, the sense of well-being reasserts itself. But by the next morning it's worn off.

Birdman

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GinAndPlatonic, I really agree with you. It is not about distance or speed but what good you get out of your walk.


Personally, I'm not at all interested in speed (never was), but I do admit taking some pride in covering long distances (covered at leisurely pace), especially on multiday/weeks/months walks. However, for me the main driver is always to be in nature and admire all the beauty around me. I do like the exercise, but for me walking is mainly a means to an end: to admire nature and the beautiful planet we live on. For me, this also includes wild camping and enjoying the starry skies. A holistic nature experience. :)


My most enjoyable walking is thru-hiking long distances, continuous over many weeks/ months. Not for the bragging rights, but it is simply the best way to experience the gradual change in landscapes, habitats and even to see the seasons change. Therefore, my best walk ever was also the longest: my 2650 miles Pacific Crest Trail Thru-hike in 2018, 5 months from Mexico to Canada, through deserts, mountains, forests and spanning 4 seasons (from spring to first snow of the season). Report of this (and other adventures) can be found in my signature.


Having said that, also short walks can be very rewarding to me. As you go slower, you have more time to take in and admire what is around you. More time to concentrate on that singing bird, that beautiful flower, that stunning butterfly... You just zoom in more into what is around you :)
« Last Edit: 10:05:21, 29/06/20 by Birdman »
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

gunwharfman

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For me, the only way to be intimate with the world around me is to walk.

It may have been OK when I was young, to drive past everything but it doesn't work for me now, I feel the same about cycling, on my bike I'm 'here' in this millisecond of time and then I'm not 'here' because I am now somewhere else. Walking for me is experiencing the world in my personal space in slow motion. I like it, it suits me.

I remember the time when my wife and I used to 'do' package holidays, we would just be 'onlookers' to other people's lives and the countries they lived in and then 14 days later we would fly back. For us, a most unsatisfactory experience and once we recognised our problem we stopped going on package holidays.

I always remember one of my neighbours (she moved house a few years ago) who loved to tell people she was going somewhere special and loved to tell everyone where she had been, but HATED actually being there! The reason why she hated being 'there' was because she couldn't tell people where she was going or where she had been!

I also like hiking because the 'experience' I get from it is much more varied than any package holiday I've ever been on. No two days are ever the same.

Dodgylegs

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Obviously everyone gets their enjoyment for different reasons, that's life.


Have a friend who loves the challenge of cycling up steep hills; Alps, Pyrenees..
When I ask what he'd seen or taken photos of he just looks at me blankly, it's the challenge!
Same guy walks past a beautiful garden and doesn't notice anything!
Went up tower of cathedral, all he was interested in was getting up first!


For some people that's the way it is, for others they like to take in and enjoy their surroundings and nature, that's me. :)

gunwharfman

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I'm a bit like that, when I have cycled out of my city, the 'pleasure' of cycling is going uphill and getting to the top. Downhill is easy and it's over quickly, no fun in that!

dittzzy

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This year, I've walked more than ever, because of the use it or lose it principle.  I've been putting on weight, and I decided I didn't want to be limited by my fitness and weight as I get older.
I've lost a little weight,  and I'm a little bit fitter but I am having regular aches and pains in the muscles/bones of my left foot.  It may be this which slows me down in the future.
I don't get deflated at any point after a walk, I only get down if I think I'm not gonna get out again for ages.
As for walking itself, I've been out this morning, just 3 1/2 miles.  Took me over 2 hours cos I kept stopping to check out butterflies, creepy crawlies, plants and flowers, birds, anything.
I love being outside.  I love the views, the hills, the openness, and I love finding out and learning about the massive variety of wildlife and plants that we have.
I hope I can still get out when I'm 75 and beyond. 🤞