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A beginners’ guide to rambling

How do you like to keep fit? Do you enjoy Yoga? Swimming? The gym? One of the less talked about but equally impactful forms of exercise seldom talked about is good old-fashioned walking.  

An ever-increasing number of people in the UK are realising the benefits of walking and rambling, as it is also known. Indeed, many clubs around the UK are dedicated to rambling and their members who call themselves ‘ramblers’ enjoy lengthy walks around rural and countryside areas and use it as a means of not only regular exercise but also a handy way to socialise.

Who can do it?
From ultra-fit to out-of-shape, rambling is not a discriminatory sport, and anyone can enjoy it. Rambling groups often include people of all genders, ages, fitness levels and backgrounds. A good rambling group should always brief you in advance if the walking route that day might be challenging so that you can prepare in advance or sit that one out.

What kit do I need?
The best thing about rambling is that it is low cost. Unlike many sports and hobbies, there aren’t expensive joining fees or subscriptions and you don’t usually need any specialist equipment other than a mobile phone in case you get lost, some comfortable and safe footwear and a bottle of water. There are things that you can buy to make your walk more pleasurable such as hiking boots, base layers, thermals, waterproofs, gaiters and walking poles but none of them are compulsory.

How to get started?
If you want to start rambling, then you aren’t obliged to join a club. In fact, many people enjoy the solace that comes from solo-rambling. However, if you’d like to make it a more social occasion, enjoy conversation and share tips and routes then it makes sense to reach out to a club. Most regions in the UK have several rambling clubs and the website ramblingclubs.com lists a great many of them.

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