Hello, welcome to Forty Thousand Footsteps.

About Alex

Redcar Beach from Saltburn
The view of Redcar beach from Saltburn

Growing up in a small town on the coast of England, both the beach and the countryside made for excellent motivation to get out and walk. I could walk from my house for 20 minutes to Redcar beach and then walk barefoot on the sand for 2 miles to Saltburn – a beautiful town with a pier, a cliff lift, a miniature railway through the valley gardens, and into the woods. I took all of this for granted and what I did not know at the time is that where the valley gardens met the woods was part of the Cleveland Way – a 110-mile walking trail that links Cleveland to the North Yorkshire Moors. I also did not know that there are hundreds of walking trails like this one all around the country.

Fast forward to my adult life and I spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week behind a desk which can be mentally exhausting so as well as trying to go to the gym and go for the occasional run, I like to set myself epic fitness challenges like White Collar Boxing, running Tough Mudder or walking over 90 miles along the route of Hadrians Wall from the North East Coast of England to the North West Coast.

I don’t mean to brag about that last one but the website said a fit and active person should allow themselves six or seven days to complete it… We did it in four!

Hiking Helped Me and I Want to Help You

I decided to write Forty Thousand Footsteps because walking saved my life and I know that something so simple can save others too. As a low impact form of cardiovascular exercise, something most of us do every day can be optimized to provide physical benefits of improved fitness and weight loss. What a lot of people don’t give walking enough credit for is the mental benefits.

in 2018 I had been through one of the most difficult periods of my life, I had been at risk of redundancy for 3 years, I had lost people I was close to, I lived away from my family, and didn’t have a partner. I had reached rock bottom, I was eating and drinking too much and I did very little else except work, get drunk, sleep, repeat.

During casual drinks with a friend, he mentioned that he wanted to walk along Hadrians Wall, that he had tried it and failed a few years before, and that he was determined to succeed this time.

Before I began walking I was 125kg – You can see it in my face

I don’t know what I was thinking exactly, I was impressed by the idea and figured that since he had already signed up that his itinerary was finalized so I told him if he wanted to do it again the following year, I would love to try it. My friend immediately contacted his tour organizer and added me to his booking for five months later.

At the time I was 125kg hadn’t done meaningful amounts of exercise for months and was out of breath climbing the one flight of stairs at work every day. Five months later, I was 102kg and I had achieved this weightloss just by working up to and walking long distances every weekend.

I lost 28kg in 5 months

I was physically healthier but it was my mental strength that saw the most benefits. As well as causing Neurogenesis (which literally means “makes new brain cells”), exercise had given me something to work towards, something to look forward to, and a sense of achievement each time I completed a new route.

My experience at Hadrians Wall was one of the greatest times of my life and only 5 months earlier, I would not have believed I could do it.

My Dream

My aim is to support your fitness goals, help you use hiking to change your mindset, and highlight some of the challenges new hikers or walkers might face when you decide to step up your game.

Whether I am highlighting where to go, what products you should consider, or just sharing my experiences (and amazing pictures), I am confident Forty Thousand Footsteps can help you level up and get more out of walking

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Alex
Author of Forty thousand Footsteps