One way to get more active under the current restrictions is to make use of our many cross country routes. You can get exercise while enjoying some fantastic scenery and nature.

For anyone feeling the need to blow away some cobwebs, we highly recommend the NHS Couch to 5k podcasts as a very manageable way to go from little or know exercise to a more active pattern of life. And one which contributes to better mental as well as physical health. The NHS series of podcasts starts with a 20 minute session where you’re asked to alternate between walking for 90 seconds and jogging gently for just 60 seconds.  Then, over a 9 week series of podcasts, the periods of running gradually increase. It’s very scientifically designed, because after three sessions of each successive stage most people feel confident (and fit) enough to move up to the next increment. Many are surprised to discover that from a relatively sedantary start they can, after 9 weeks or so, run for up to 30 minutes.

You don’t need lycra (in fact for those of us at a certain age that would be a serious fashion disaster) but one essential is a pair of suitable running shoes.

Anyone planning to run cross country, or along footpaths, should consider a pair of ‘trail shoes’ that have lots of grip and can handle uneven surfaces. Good quality trail shoe brands, such as the Salomon, offer Gortex-type waterproof versions, which are invaluable in the weather conditions we’ve had recently. However, bear in mind that waterproof running shoes can get hot in the summer months. Many other very fine trail shoe brands are also available.

Full details about NHS Couch to 5K can be found here:
The web page gives details of the sessions and how to download the podcasts from the App Store or Google Play.

There is also a very informative video, that explains the benefits of the programme through the insights and advice of someone who tried it from scratch as a non-runner: