“It’s a good way to spend time with a friend rather than just being sat in the house.”
Carol Barnes and Paula Parker are both Analysts in the Civil Service
Where do you walk?
We always walk back from work, from Bootle to Maghull. We get a lift in and walk home.
How long have you been walking home from work?
We’ve been walking for the past 18 months, 3 times a week. We used to go by car as it’s not an easy journey by public transport.
How long is the journey?
7.5 or 8.5 miles depending on our route. It takes 2.5 hours and it’s about 20,000 steps.
Why did you decide to walk?
We both went walking outside of work, so we started walking together after work, and then we thought we could combine travelling home with our walk. It’s part of being healthy and it means our exercise is done when we get home.
We both have Fitbits and there’s around ten of us at work in a Fitbit group where we compete for mid-week challenges. It’s been great for team building. There aren’t any prizes, it’s just for the glory! Being in the group eggs you on, it gets you going and it’s fun – there’s plenty of teasing going on and you make sure you get your steps in so you aren’t behind.
What’s the best thing about your walk?
We vary the routes so you see different things. We’ve got to know some of the faces and we say hello to people as we walk along. We have a nice chat, it’s a good way to spend time with a friend rather than just being sat in the house or going to the pub, plus when we get home there’s a sense of achievement – we can enjoy a glass of Pinot!
Has anything interesting happened on your walk?
We’ve found money! £20 has been the most we’ve found. We also found an unopened bottle of Prosecco.
When is your favourite time of year to walk?
Spring and summer as you get the lighter nights, but then again winter is lovely when you can look at all the Christmas lights and decorations on the way home, we like that. We also stick to street routes on darker nights and go on country lanes on lighter evenings.
Have you noticed any benefits?
Yes, definitely! We’re both fitter, we’ve got more stamina and longer walks don’t seem like anything to us now. But it’s about mental health too, when you feel low or down, the best thing to do is put your shoes and coat on and off you pop – we always feel loads better.
What would you say to anyone who’s thinking of commuting on foot to encourage them to get started?
It costs nothing, you just need a good pair of boots or trainers. Start on a shorter route and walk further gradually. Walking with a friend is great way to catch up and have a laugh and it’s better than being sat in the pub – honest!