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Like an increasing number of people in the UK, I’m following the Government advice to stay at home during this sadly bleak time for the world. Like a lot of people I’m also trying to find ways of passing the time.

It’s been interesting to see videos on the news or YouTube of what other people are doing to fill the hours. With a total lockdown in the UK looking more imminent, the number of home exercise videos being submitted online offers one way to relieve boredom and keep fit.

I’m usually able to follow an exercise pattern in the winter months whilst the rest of the year is left for hiking. So, to be in a situation now where my territory is limited is a strange thing. Currently, the UK Government says that a daily trip outside for exercise is okay, but, as I said, I’m electing to keep trips beyond my gate to a rare minimum.

I could keep on following fitness videos to fill the gap. I can certainly amass a decent amount of exercise by spending time doing work in the garden. The thing is I’m missing clocking the miles in the countryside, though; walking in the wilderness is outright my favourite form of exercise.

And all this got me thinking.

What if I could bring the countryside to my own home by walking a few miles every day?

So, yesterday morning I woke up early and headed out into the back garden. I did umpteen laps doing my utmost to focus on the colours of the trees and plants, the chatter of the birds and the blue of the sky. It was easy to lose myself in the vibrations of nature and before I knew it I’d totalled nearly four thousand steps.

I had work commitments after that, and so I resumed my home trek in the evening. During another solid march in the garden I concocted an idea to take the hike inside once night fell. Indoors, I popped mountain walking videos on YouTube in an attempt to simulate a hike. Then, as I paced between the kitchen and the living room, I could dream of being in the fantastic landscapes on the screen.

Seven thousand steps….Eight thousand steps….I told myself to keep pushing on to ten thousand and eventually I made it. Sure, I’d built up a number of steps doing incidental tasks in the day and there were plenty of times during this ‘expedition’ that I wasn’t walking at regular my regular hiking speed indoors. However, a sense of elation poured through me when I’d achieved it.

I hope this is something that I can repeat every day. It’s given me another way to think about keeping in shape. Having a bit of variety with workout videos is a good thing.

It also surprises me how it’s taken me until now to see that I have a hiking trail right in my own home!