Set your body compass: the joy of hillwalking

April 17, 2018 6:42 am Published by Leave your thoughts

‘The hills have a power to soothe and heal which is their very own’ said Wainwright, putting it better than I was planning to. No man, he went on to say, ever sat at the top of a hill and planned a murder or a robbery. Instead, hillwalking brings both sheer exuberance – and blessed peace of mind. Out on the hills, gazing over the land, our thoughts wander along new channels. Our spirits are refreshed and our problems smoothed away. ‘One can forget even a raging toothache on Haystacks’, Wainwright observed.

Soothe and uplift the spirits - hillwalking beats everything!

No murders or robberies are being planned here.

So let’s get out there and get walking! As the earth turns towards the sun and the days lengthen, it’s time to point our body compasses in the right direction too.

Stiff joints? Try this!

Walking is perfectly easy for most of us – except when you do it over long distances, over rough terrain or uphill. For this kind of walking, a bit of preparation is a good idea. Try these Mountain-climbing lunges for starters.

Warm up, then hold onto the back of a chair with one hand. Lunge backwards with your opposite leg (your body will be in a sort of exaggerated ‘genuflection’ position). Bring this leg forward into a high kick. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs, aiming for three ‘sets of 10’ on each leg. It’s wonderful preparation for climbing uphill – and can be kept up during the winter months, too.

You also need to make sure you’re eating the right food to keep your joints supple. Calcium, which builds strong bones and muscles, is vital here. As well as dairy products, good providers of this mineral include broccoli, kale and figs. Fortified soya, almond and other non-dairy milks work well too.

For general help in fighting off joint problems, you need a diet rich in anti-inflammatories. Could you incorporate more garlic, leeks and onions, apples, almonds, chia seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, turmeric or ginger into your diet? If you’re not quite sure how to do it, take a look at our Ultimate anti-inflammatory meal plan!

Food for the journey

Try some of our trail mix or one of our energy bars.

Make sure you’ve got enough snacks in your rucksack!

No-one gets to the top of a hill or the end of a long-distance footpath on good intentions alone. You’ll need something to sustain you – or to reward yourself with, at the top. Click here to see our packs of trail mix and our energy bars. You might also like to make your own energy bars, balls and mixes, with our oats, grains, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and cacao.

The last word…

…should go to Wainwright once more:

‘The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.’

Naturally Good Reads v2

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This post was written by Yzanne

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