Shenley Green patients walking to a healthier lifestyle

It’s that time of year again when lots of people, spurred on by new years resolutions, are thinking about how to get more exercise. One of the easiest ways to get some gentle exercise is by walking. So when the Ramblers Association set up a walking group for patients at the Shenley Green Surgery, our Health Trainer Keiran was keen to help.

Keiran facilitated and supported the group. He promoted it, not only through his work at the Surgery, but via local community noticeboards. With his help, the Shenley Green group organised lots of walks to local parks and hidden beauty spots, including Bournville Yachting Pool, Frankley Reservoir and Woodgate Valley Country Park.

Keiran printed out maps from to share with walkers – and was on hand to chat about the benefits of exercise, healthy eating or about the journey ahead. The walking group grew from eight to 15 people.

Walking is one of the simplest ways to start exercising – it’s free and you can start off however slowly you like! However, many people find motivation difficult. Walking groups are a great way round this, providing incentive, support and even new friends. The Shenley Green Surgery walking group is becoming self sufficient, with several participants now taking the lead, planning walks and running the group themselves on a rota basis. Keiran says, “happily, the walkers testified that they enjoyed the company of others and wanted the group to continue”.

In this video, Keiran speaks to walker Mohini Howard, from the Ramblers Association, who explains a bit more about the group:

Coming soon: twenty minute walks

As the NHS Choices website explains, regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. But walking is also very beneficial for those recovering from illness. So to help patients who are recovering, or simply need a more gentle introduction to walking as exercise, GPs at Shenley Green Surgery have asked Keiran to start a new “twenty minute walk” group.

The new group is still in development, although Keiran has high hopes. “The wet and windy weather has slowed development for the moment, but we’re prepared to start something indoors if that’s what it takes. The surgery is very keen to see something beneficial take place for their patients – and they’d like Gateway Family Services to run it.”