Walking in a group is a great way to start walking and to stay motivated.
A health walk is a purposeful brisk walk at a pace to suit the individual and is undertaken on a regular basis – but it is far more than simply walking or improving physical health. Led walks offer people the chance to socialise, to explore their local area and to enjoy the natural environment, they can reduce stress and isolation and improve wellbeing. They can also increase confidence and, with increased self-esteem many walkers go onto to become walk leaders.
What to bring
A good pair of shoes is the only equipment required – any shoes that are comfortable, provide good support and don’t cause blisters.
Loose fitting clothing allows you to move more freely. Wear thin layers rather than heavy, chunky clothing!
If it’s a hot day, take a bottle of water, a sun hat and sun cream.
How much will I exert myself?
To maintain good cardiovascular health, the walk should be purposeful and ‘brisk’ (in other words more than just a stroll, you should breathe a little faster, feel warmer and have a slightly faster heart beat. However you should still be able to talk, if you can’t carry on a conversation, then you’re going too fast!).
You should aim to do 30 minutes of moderate activity a day but you don’t have to do them all in one go to start with. You could walk for ten minutes, three times a day or 15 minutes twice a day at first. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and build up gradually.
Just the beginning…
Natural England’s Walking for Health is the nation’s leading supporter of led health walks in the natural environment. We encourage people to become physically active in local green spaces by supporting around 600 led health walk schemes across England.
Please visit their website for more information; http://www.wfh.naturalengland.org.uk