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International Day of Happiness: The Perfect Excuse for a Walk

Those of us who have already fallen in love with walking, don’t really need a reason to don our boots and hit the countryside trails. But just in case you are looking for an excuse, look no further than the UN’s International Day of Happiness. Action for Happiness has published 10 Keys to Happier Living, and walking will help you with many of them…

20 March is International Day of Happiness, a day designed to raise awareness of how important wellbeing and happiness are in our lives. What is the International Day of Happiness? It’s a day to be happy, of course! Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.

Everyone’s path to happiness is different, but based on latest research, Action for Happiness has identified 10 Keys to Happier Living, that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell out GREAT DREAM.

great dream

So how can this fit in with walking? Well, you may be surprised just how many of these keys are delivered, at least in part, with a fulfilling countryside walk. The most obvious link is Key 3: Exercise. Action for Happiness explains, ‘Our body and mind are connected. Being active makes us happier as well as being good for our physical health. We can all boost our well-being by spending time outdoors.’

But it doesn’t stop there. By walking with family or friends you can also achieve Key 2: Relating. Share your walking adventure together and you will be helping everyone with a sense of belonging. People with strong relationships are happier, healthier and live longer, according to Action for Happiness. Moving on, we come to Key 4: Awareness. This is all about stopping and taking notice, and a walk is the perfect time to do just that. Find a peaceful setting on your route, maybe with a bench, and spend some time really appreciating the surroundings and wonders of nature.

Next is Key 5: Trying Out, this is all about learning new things. With iFootpath walking guides there are always fascinating snippets of local facts, history and nature to keep your brain in a positive curious state. There is always something new to discover whilst out walking. Finally consider Key 6: Direction. This is all about having some goals in life. Make sure they are achievable and something you are positive about realising. It isn’t all about quantity like numbers of miles or bagging peaks, you might just want to set a goal in terms of spending quality time walking with family and friends at least once per month.

Let’s hope that through the joys of walking, we can help just a little to make the world a happier place.

20 March 2017

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The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall of the walking guide, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies" between any two points. This is based on the GPX file that was created when the author walked the route and rounded to the nearest mile.length

Grade (Boots)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well-worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

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