Getting Started in Walking

Walking is a sociable, fun and healthy lifelong activity, and whether it’s walking in your local park or taking on the challenge of a day-walk on one of the many trails around the country, good planning and preparation will always make the experience more enjoyable. The following offers some tips and advice from experienced walking enthusiast Jean Boydell on how to get into walking in Ireland, and generally how to get organised for your walk. We hope it helps you in getting out there and active in this beautiful country.

New To Walking?

If you are new to walking, why not start with well-known walks close to where you live, such as in a local park or along a beach. As you get comfortable with these you can venture further afield, trying something a little harder as you grow in confidence.

Move on to easy walks, mostly level with a good underfoot surface. It is better to do a walk well within your capabilities than to exhaust yourself. Build up slowly to increase your fitness.

When walking, take your time, pace yourself and enjoy your surroundings and if you feel as if you are getting tired, don’t be afraid to rest or turn back!

Some Advice and Tips - Before you Go

Some pre-walk planning is always required to ensure an enjoyable and safe day out.

·         Choose a walk that is suitable for you. Allow plenty of time – at least 1 hour for every 4km, and add extra time for any uphill sections, rests, eating, taking photos, etc.

·         Find out as much as you can about the walk and how to get there in advance by referring to some of the websites highlighted in this publication.

·         Print off a downloadable map, study it and bring it or a hard copy map with you.

·         Check the daily weather forecast, and be aware of dusk times as you should plan to finish the walk before then.

·         Plan and pack whatever you need for your walk in advance, including all necessary clothing, a snack, drink and camera.

·         If venturing on a medium to hard walk, in addition to the above also bring a torch, whistle and extra clothing.

Why Walk?