Walking in nature, or bushwalking is one of Australia’s most popular recreational activities. But the benefits are not limited to the amazing scenery, says Helen Donovan, Executive Director of Walking SA.
“It is so very good for your health. So that’s physical fitness including cardiovascular health and strength because you’re going up and down little inclines. And of course, it is great for mental health too. So generally, when you’re bushwalking, you’re doing it with others and so it’s social, and being in nature decreases stress and improves our mood.”
Bushwalking is typically a very low-risk activity. Even so, any potential risks can be significantly reduced if you do some planning.
“One of the most common dangers would be things like choosing a trail that is not appropriate for your level of fitness or experience. And then what can happen is you don’t have enough water or enough food, or you’ve got the wrong clothing, or you don’t have a first aid kit if anything goes wrong. Or a communication device. So, the most important thing is to do that little bit of planning to make sure that you’ve got what you need for the area that you’re going to.”
Pay attention to the time of year you go bushwalking, says Andrew Govan, Board Member of Bushwalking Leadership South Australia.
“Often people choose to go walking in the outback in summer which is not necessarily the best time because it’s very hot and there are very limited services out there. Or when it’s the dead of winter and going, say, to the Victorian Alps or the more mountainous regions. It gets very very cold. So, choosing when you go is important, and then choosing where you go to suit your ability is very important.”
Click on the player above to listen to this information in Punjabi.