18 Jan 2017

Getting ready to get Fit for Free!

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

I’ve been on placement here in the Garden for several months now, but it was only really last month that I got to explore every inch of it…

I love the outdoors, and one of the best ways to appreciate and enjoy it is by walking it – which also happens to be a great way to keep fit! However, I have never thought about the stats behind the exercise I do… so I decided to download an app or two onto my phone and head out into the Garden.

Technology is amazing. I can walk around the Garden with my phone in my pocket and it can record the number of steps I take, the approximate calories I am burning, my average walking pace, the amount of time I spend walking (or the amount of time I spend stopped, enjoying the view), the elevation of my walking route and I get an accurate GPS-tracked map of my route when I’m finished.

I like a good map and seeing different routes around the Garden only inspires me to walk around more of it.

There’s a multitude of apps available for your phone, many of which will even connect with the FitBit you got for Christmas. I’ve chosen to use the apps Google Fit and Strava*. Strava is especially good for tracking your improvement long-term, as it creates ‘segments’ from your walking routes which you can try to beat your time or pace on. It also creates a leader board for the segments so you can see how you get on in comparison to others walking the same routes as you.

The app can be used to track all kinds of exercise, so running the routes around the Garden is another option for getting your fitness hit in a beautiful setting – much better than that dreary treadmill!

It was important to us that we created routes accessible to everyone – so our walks around the main area of the Garden are all step free, making them easily navigable both for pushchairs and wheelchairs, while the walks around Waun Las, although not suitable for wheels, have plenty of rest stops to enjoy the views. The Blue route was by far my favourite route to walk, not just for the challenge but the beautifully carved wooden benches that can be found along the way. They are positioned perfectly to enjoy a rest with a stunning view.

Hopefully, you are enjoying the walks around the Garden and have explored areas which you may not have otherwise visited or, if you haven’t come and visited us yet this Free January, hopefully we have inspired you to get Fit for Free! Can you beat my walking times on Strava?!



*Other apps are available. We are not being sponsored by Strava or Google Fit, these are just two apps I chose to use!!