Best Foot Forward for 2013, Exmouth!

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By ExeCellent | Monday, January 14, 2013, 10:40

AS EXMOUTH puts away the Christmas decorations for another year, many of us are dreading that first foray onto the scales after our seasonal indulgences. Weight loss and improved fitness are among the most popular New Year's resolutions, but where to begin?

Exmouth's blessed with a wonderful environment, so now's the time to get out and about – walking, jogging, hiking and running are among the best forms of exercise... and they're all free, so you don't need to shell out a fortune in gym fees to get in shape! Here are some ideas to help you get 2013 off to a healthy start without breaking the bank.

Walk this Way...

In Exmouth, we're lucky enough to be close to both the coast and the countryside, with all their wonderful opportunities for exercise, and with iconic routes routes like the East Devon Way and the South West Coast Path on our doorstep, there's no better way to enjoy the views than on foot. The key to any successful exercise programme is enjoyment, so look for activities you  know you enjoy, or would like to try. If it's not fun, you won't stick to it. Don't be over-ambitious – start small, as little and often is the best way to build your fitness level without risking injury.

First Steps

For a gentle, sociable introduction to walking, why not join one of East Devon Walk This Way's free health walks? A mixture of town and country walks, they're aimed at those who are doing very little or no exercise at the moment, but who would like to become more active. The walks are between 1 and 3 miles long, and are graded for difficulty. They start from the Manor Gardens at 10.30am every Tuesday and Saturday (please arrive by 10.15 to allow time for registration).

If you like the company of a group but are looking for something a little more challenging, try one of the free walks organized by the Otter Valley Association. Designed to make the most of the area, each walk highlights aspects of natural history or points of local interest. All their walks are graded for difficulty.

For dedicated hikers, East Devon Ramblers Group may fit the bill. Their experienced leaders take walks in East Devon, Mid Devon, West Dorset, Somerset, Dartmoor and Exmoor. The walks range from strenuous, for the very fit walker, to more leisurely paced walks but still requiring a reasonable level of fitness.

The Great Outdoors

If you prefer to go it alone, but aren't sure where to start, Devon County Council offer a free walking guide, available from the Tourist Information Centre or online. All you need to start walking is suitable footwear and waterproofs (and if you live around here you probably have those already) plus your map or guide.

If the bug bites, you may want to get kitted out with proper walking boots and a pole. Moorland Rambler in Exeter is a specialist outdoor shop where you can speak to people who actually use the equipment and can give honest and impartial advice.They sell everything needed to enjoy outdoor pursuits whilst being safe and comfortable, and have over 20 years' experience in fitting walking boots! If they don't have what you're looking for in stock, they will do everything they can to find it for you.

Hit the road

Running has never been so popular, and with unlimited options from mini fun runs to full-blown marathons, there's something to suit everyone. If running appeals to you, Exmouth Harriers are a small, friendly club offering training runs suitable for all levels, and new members are always welcome. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.45pm at Exmouth Indoor Tennis Centre in Withycombe Village Road.  They also run a ladies-only group on Wednesday evenings at 6.30pm.

If you need to get yourself kitted out, visit Tony Pryce in the Parade – chloe_246 recommends it as 'a great store with a range of sports accessories and clothing'.

So best foot forward, Exmouth, and a happy and healthy New Year to you all!

If you enjoy getting out and about in the area, why not take your camera with you? It's easy and free to share your picture galleries here on Exmouth People, and we always love seeing them!



  • Profile image for IloveSWcoast

    Good article highlighting the many free and accessible ways to enjoy the great outdoors! Another way to get fit for free in beautiful surroundings is to set yourself a challenge. How about signing up to the Great South West Walk around Exmouth? You'll be helping future generations to enjoy access to this glorious coastline at the same time.

    By IloveSWcoast at 15:38 on 15/01/13

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