The Ramblers Association are once again running their festival of short walks this year, in a continued bid to help us as a nation become more active and realize how little  outdoor equipment and clothing you need to get started to enjoy walking in the great outdoors.

The ‘Get Walking Week’ is set to run from the 3rd to the 10th May 2014, so you have plenty of time to get your bit of kit together and find a walk near you to complete. Recent research showing that only about a third of the UK population is active enough, but walking is something that is an easy and un way to improve your personal health and felling of well being. Another bonus is that once you have your kit, starting off with a good pair of shoes then its free, now that can’t be a bad thing.

The whole week ask us to be a little more active, encouraging us to make that short trip to the shop by foot instead of using the car, or organizing a weekend walk with friends, or even getting off the bus a stop earlier than normal on your way home from work. The Ramblers will be offering lots of short accessible walks across the country to tempt us out of the house, with both guided and self guided routes on offer, all less than five miles long. In Scotland there is even a list of special Medal Routes for you to complete, For example in Edinburgh there are three routes all based around Fairmilehead Park, and all start and finish at the Buckstone Café, so why not try the Bronze Medal route which is a short walk around The Park, or take on the Gold Medal route which takes you up to Buckstone Snab viewpoint via Mertonhall.

We all know all busy life is and our time is precious, but just taking 30 minutes for a walk on a regular basis will help, both mentally and physically. Even a 15 minute stroll can have some benefit when you feel you haven’t got the time. Walking outdoors actually helps you to feel more energetic and so more capable and able to get on with the business of life. It also helps to get us that little bit fitter, and who doesn’t benefit from getting outdoors in the fresh air.

So, lets all get involved, and why not take a couple of friends along to have a chat along the way, who knows before you know it you will be completely kitted out with outdoor equipment and clothing and leading a walk of your own, or tackling something more long distance, who knows!