Like most people, I have over-eaten my way through the festive season, still have a cupboard of ‘naughty’ foods and have lapsed into the very dangerous habit of snacking on crisps and choccies while watching TV at night. These are fat-infested waters I inhabit and I’m only too aware that my chances of shifting the extra Christmas pounds diminish in direct relation to the amount of time they’re allowed to linger.
And it seems I’m not alone…
At the end of 2012 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) published a damning report on the state of Britain’s health, declaring there to be a “national epidemic of inactivity and obesity which now causes as much harm as smoking.”
Naturally, the Christmas holiday period does little to alleviate that problem.
But Nice’s recommendations for tackling the issue by walking and cycling instead of driving or getting the bus on short journeys are perfect for those of us for whom the thought of dieting, pounding the pavement or going to the gym are about as appealing as a cold, wet, January day on Bognor beach.
So why not give Bognor a wide berth, opt for tropical Tenerife instead and combine some winter sunshine with walking as a great way to kick start the weight loss and get some healthy living back onto the agenda?
Nice’s report says: “We all face barriers in changing our lifestyles and many of us feel we don’t have the time or the inclination to add regular physical activity into our lives. But walking and cycling – to work, to school, to the shops or elsewhere – can make a huge difference. It’s an opportunity to make these activities part of normal, routine daily behaviour.”
If we don’t have time for walking when we’re at home, there’s no excuse when we’re on holiday, and Tenerife’s spring climate and extra hours of daylight provide the perfect opportunity to shed some pounds and get the healthy lifestyle ball rolling. There’s no reason not to still clock up those sunbathing hours on the beach or by the pool, but there’s plenty of time to throw a walk or two into the mix.
Far from being a chore or a drudge, walking on Tenerife is great fun, takes you away from the crowds and introduces you to some spectacular locations that you’d never otherwise see. From easy coastal strolling or town and city walks to more demanding mountain terrain, Tenerife has a wealth of walking trails to choose from and give you a step up to a healthier lifestyle. I’ll join you there.
Happy New Year 🙂