Some of our team attended a great conference over the weekend called ‘Exercise Anywhere 12′, organised by Nordic Walking UK.
The conference was focused around looking at the massive opportunity that walking provides to encourage the nation to be more active – as Britain’s national mapping agency we thought this would be a great way to showcase our latest leisure products - OS getamap and OS Explorer Map – custom made and OS Landranger Map – custom made as the planning tools of choice!
There were a variety of different key note speakers, Dr John Searle OBE discussing “Exercise and the Management of Obesity”. Bob Laventure from the British Hearth Foundation presenting “The longest journey begins with a single step” and Mike Rollason from Nordic Walking explaining that a third of adults in the UK would rather perform their exercise in the outdoors, and that 70% of those cited walking as their preferred option.
It was interesting to speak to the group to find out the ways in which they planned their walks and routes, many attendees at the conference were walking leaders, so they organised group walks for many people (usually up to 30). Some of the leaders tended to walk in known areas so they know where all the paths are. However, many of the leaders are now looking to find new walks in unfamiliar areas, but were not sure how to locate those public foot paths. The leaders plan their routes in a variety of different ways, some do a reconnaissance of the area first to find new paths, others use word of mouth to find walking routes and some use maps to explore the area first.
Which is where we can help! With OS getamap we can take the hard work out of finding new places and routes, simply type in a place name or a post code, or even browse the map for an interesting place to visit, then start plotting the route along the path on the OS map (leisure view). The system builds up information about the route, details on length, elevation, time taken to walk are available for free, they can even email the route to the other walk group members before the walk starts! The only time you need to pay for the service is if you decided to print out the map. For a one off cost of £1.99 for an A4 map or just under £20 for an annual subscription that allows you to print out unlimited Ordnance Survey Mapping.
And with our custom made maps you can get a map printed of your area which will show all the footpaths making it easier to identify where you could go to get some exercise!
Looks like the message was clear – get out and get active, but use a map to help you make the most of it!