One of our local customers amazed us last week when she casually announced that she and her three boys; aged 8 years, 4 years and 18 months, had walked 57 miles during January! OK so the baby had a bit of help along the way, but what a fantastic family achievement in the depths of lock down.
How did she do it? Well Megan has give us her top tips for how she gets her and her kids out of the house and walking in winter:
- Preparation: The hardest thing about going on a walk is getting my boys out of the door. I’ve found that creating piles of all their stuff about an hour beforehand and making their lunches alongside breakfast helps speed everything up as it’s not one big push to get out.
- Essential items: I always pack: spare socks, water, lunch, snacks and waterproofs (if they’re not already wearing them).
- Who carries what: We have recently got into the habit of everyone bringing their own rucksacks, which certainly makes my life a lot easier! I now don’t have to lug around all their water bottles and gear, and they even enjoy the process of packing their own kit.
- Distance: I know that my boys can now walk two to four miles easily without too much bother so I plan a route about this length or further is we fancy a challenge.
- What to wear: thermal top (and bottoms if it’s cold), fleece jumper and trousers, waterproof jacket and dungarees, hat and gloves.
- Where to go: set everyone a target. For example, my boys love to walk to feed the ducks, to say “hello and moo” to the cows or to go to a playground
- How to get there: My eldest likes to get involved with map reading; we have downloaded the OS map app, which is excellent. Not only does this get his brain going, but it turns the walk into a fun adventure.
- Motivation: I also find tracking our walks on a Fitbit has helped, they seem to enjoy seeing how far they have walked and for myself, it keeps me motivated to carry on walking and beat my daily step target.
- Circular or one way: If you have the option for someone to be able to pick you up, utilise that. Occasionally we decide to walk further, and my partner picks us up, so we don’t have to walk back. The boys love this because they know that they are only walking one way rather than walking back on themselves and we end up walking further anyway.
- Secret weapon: Finally I’ve avoided many a melt down with the “secret snack” aka a bribe. For my boys, I use their favourite biscuits, but make sure only to use the bribe when 100% necessary!
We hope you find these tips useful. Enjoy your lockdown winter walks and stay safe!