Fitness Challenge 2013: Walking the Cotswold Way

walking in the english countryside

I’ve a new pair of hiking boots in which I’ve chalked up a good few miles training and now I’m ready for my 2013 fitness challenge: walking the Cotswold Way.

Last year my fitness challenge was walking the South Downs Way. Given the problems I’d had with walking and arthritis in the past it was a big deal for me. It turned out to be the highlight of my year and a life-changing experience.

Since then I’ve developed greater confidence in my body and appreciation for the strength and stamina that I do have. With that has come more love and respect for my body, which was sadly lacking before.

I Love Walking

Over the past year I’ve also come to appreciate just how much I love walking and how important it is to me. With some friends it’s become a new way to socialise – instead of always meeting for a meal or a drink, we meet for a day’s walk in the countryside. It’s fun and relaxing being outdoors and it also means you have more time to talk about the things that really matter in life.

After the South Downs Way walk I thought it would be great if I could do a long-distance walk every year, especially as I’m on a bit of a mission to be Fit by Fifty. So, in a few days’ time my partner and I, together with a few friends, are setting off to walk the Cotswold Way.

Walking the Cotswold Way

The Cotswold Way is a 102 mile long National Trail that runs between Chipping Campden and Bath along the Cotswold escarpment in the heart of England. Apart from beautiful English countryside, the trail also passes through picturesque villages and historic sites.

Angie Macdonald walking the South Downs Way

Yours Truly walking the South Downs Way in 2012

Yoga and Pilates Classes help Walking

This year my walking training hasn’t been quite as intense as it was last year, partly because having done it once I know I can do it again. But also, in recent months my fitness routine has changed and I’ve started attending weekly Pilates and yoga classes at my gym where the focus is on core strength and flexibility.

I’m pleasantly surprised by how much yoga and Pilates has helped my walking. My hips feel so much more flexible, which means I’ve been able to take bigger strides when walking and improve my speed. Nicely stretched hips have also meant that my hip abductor muscles haven’t been bothering me as much as they were a couple of months’ ago.

Ready to Go…

So, the preparation is done and I’m ready for my long walk. All we need now is more of this fantastic late summer weather to see us on our way and I’ll be perfectly happy. Fingers crossed.

I’ll write about walking the Cotswold Way when I get back so remember to check back here for an update or sign up for my weekly newsletter so you don’t miss any posts.

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