These boots are made for walking but someone needs to tell my feet / Sue Plunkett

'You have two speeds... stop and halt.'

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 3:45 pm
Reporter Sue Plunkett has discovered the benefits of walking but still needs a gently nudge to pull on those hiking boots

That's what my mum used to say to me regularly. I didn't really know what she meant at the time but I think she was referring to my inability to do anything quickly.

I pretended to be offended, but I knew she was right, I have never been an active type of person, I hated PE and sports and only got into exercise after I piled on about three stone while pregnant with my daughter 23 years ago.

Step aerobics and a class called ' legs, bums and tums' helped to shift the extra pounds and I really enjoyed the social side of the classes too, meeting new people.

I even signed up for the gym at the now demolished Thompson Centre in Burnley, but that wasn't as successful.

I would usually end up chatting to someone for half the session... talking, now that's something I am not slow at and I love doing!

Several years ago I joined a group of friends who were starting to run but I absolutely hated it.

" Breathe through the pain,' they said as I gasped for air after about 10 minutes of gentle jogging. They assured me it would get easier but I dropped out after a couple of attempts.

And don't get me started on the early Sunday morning aerobics class I attended without having anything to eat or drink first. I ended up shaking, sweating and almost fainting!

I did try yoga and quite liked it then I watched a documentary about a devotee who stood on her head too often and ended up going blind. She didn't say it was because of the yoga but it was enough to put me off.

But finally I have found something that I quite enjoy... you can do it anywhere and it costs nothing..... walking.

Like the rest of the nation I tried to fit in a daily walk at the start of the pandemic and it definitely gave me an energy boost. But I soon got fed up with it and the walks gradually petered out.

But around this time last year, following several months of working from home while helping myself to the biscuit tin and endless cups of coffee every day, I was feeling quite poorly.

"You need to move more," declared my very good, and very honest friend Nicola, who also happens to be a practise nurse. She would drag me around Towneley park on a regular basis with me moaning that various parts of my body were aching and hurting.

Instead of sympathy she reassured me I would benefit from the walk and, of course, she was right. I felt so much better for getting out in the fresh air, stretching my legs and having a good natter to boot.

As my partner Ian loves walking he was delighted at my new found love of stepping out and every weekend he would produce a map to show me where he was planning for us to go next.

We have covered many miles now between us, a couple of hills, but not steep ones, and also some stunning countryside walks right on my doorstep around Burnley and Padiham.

My future goal is to climb Pendle hill for only the second time in my life I am ashamed to admit.

More than once I have fallen over, almost face down in a muddy field once, as I am prone to being clumsy with poor balance. 'Stop and halt' comes back to mind.

I would much rather be sat in a cafe with afternoon tea or even drinking a nice glass of wine in a local watering hole or even going round the shops somewhere.

But, knowing how much better I feel after it, I still try and fit a little walk in every day but I really have to push myself to do it and I don't think that will ever change.