Ancient woodland, Chronic illness, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Trees, Uncategorised, Walking, Woodland

Just a walk…

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Bluebell Woods Photo by Nick

Now we are staying home, my one walk a day is more important that ever before.

I have to admit walking is something I hated, as a child. I remember having to go on walks and thinking, how much further, my legs will fall off in a minute!

So, what changed my opinion of walking?

I first started walking regularly before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, about fifteen years ago. I’d been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica, which got progressively worse.  I was unable to work. My doctor said I need to go to physio first; to get the muscles and joints moving and when I’m mobile to start walking regularly.

At the time I thought it was really unhelpful advice as I could barely move, let alone walk anywhere!  But after a few painful physio sessions. I started with short bursts at first of 5 to 10 minutes, progressing to longer walks.  Now I do a regular walk every day and have not suffered from back pain so much; I also have more energy to do things.

I find my walk stimulating now; especially on a fine sunny day, it can really lift your mood.

Observing nature and seeing trees come into leaf as spring approaches is really refreshing.

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Bluebells Photo by Nick

I live near a park and I can vary my daily walks through wooded areas and quiet residential streets. I usually spend about 25-45 minutes on a walk and vary the terrain.

Being a fibromyalgia sufferer I notice any temperature drop as the weather changes, straight away. My joints feel stiff, I get more pain and all my symptoms get progressively worse. I still try to keep active if I can everyday by walking. I wear layers and thermals to keep warm.

I have a pair of waterproof walking boots; which are great to wear in heavy rain. I bought mine from a outdoor clothing and footwear shop in the winter sale. I’ve also invested in a waterproof jacket,  woolly hat, thermal gloves and socks.
I find it difficult keeping my hands and feet warm, when it is really cold. Research shows we loose most heat from our hands and feet; so it makes sense to keep these areas as warm as possible.

If you plan to begin walking and have not exercised recently it would be advisable to start slowly first. If your joints are very stiff it might help to try gentle exercises before you start to warm up the joints.

When you feel ready to start put on some comfortable shoes and suitable waterproof clothing for the weather.  Start off slowly with short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes and gradually build up from this.  You will find you get more confidence and can do longer distances.

For more information about walking and exercise have a look at the NHS Walking  guide. Check before setting out the latest update in your area, on staying safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Ancient woodland, Blog, Nature, Plant a tree, Poetry, Trees, Woodland, Writing

Spring is emerging

green trees
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

With the beginning of spring and change in seasons; I’ve chosen to base my poem this week, on the green man. In folklore the green man represents Spring and the start of new life.

The oak tree particularly, is important because it can live for 1000 years. During an oak’s lifetime and even after it has died an oak tree supports many natural species.  These can range from insects, squirrels, badgers, deer, caterpillars, stage beetles and fungi. The branches and hollows of the tree are used by birds to build their nests. Now, take a deep breath and picture yourself walking in a woodland glade.

The Old Oak Tree

Amongst a sea of green

Lichen, moss and oak leaves

Sprout from my face

 I’m the green man

Of pagan legend

Living in the trees

🌳🌳🌳

My gnarled weather beaten face

Watches over squirrels

Foraging the forest floor

A herd of deer feast on acorns

Almost invisible silently moving

Under the Oak, in the Wood

🌳 🌳 🌳

My presence is felt

By all who

Pass this way

I keep watch over

The constantly changing

Cycle of Life

Poem by Nick

Ancient woodland, Blog, Bluebells, Nature, Trees, Walking, Woodland

Rambling in bluebell woodland

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Woodland glade Photo by Nick 

It’s #WalkThisMay month and I have been trying out some different walking routes. It’s often on these paths you find the most interesting fauna and flora.

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Carpet of bluebells Photo by Nick 

I came across beautiful carpets of bluebells during one of my woodland walks.

Their deep blue colour is a breathtaking sight stretching out beneath the slowly unfolding woodland canopy.

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Woodland stream Photo by Nick

Bluebells flower from the middle of April to the end of May; producing nectar early in the season.

The bluebells nectar provides an important source of food for bees,🐝butterflies,🦋and other insects.🕷🦟

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Bluebells Photo by Nick

The bluebell is mainly found in Britain and Western Europe.

Areas of woodland where bluebells grow as wildflowers are often likely to have been in existence for hundreds of years and are categorised as ancient woodland.

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Woodland in May Photo by Nick

If your interested in exploring your local area have a look at my page on walking for more information and ideas.👣

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Woodland canopy Photo by Nick