As as the days get longer and the weather starts to improve (well, sort of), there’s no better time to get walking.
If you need some inspiration, May is National Walking Month which includes Walk To Work Week (11-15 May) and Walk To School Week (18-25 May). It’s organised by Living Streets, a national charity that “aims to create safe, attractive enjoyable streets where it’s great to walk”, and their website has lots of tips and ideas to get those feet moving. There’s even a Twitter hashtag to follow: #walkthismay!
Gateway walking groups
You might remember that, a couple of years ago, our Health Trainer Keiran set up and ran a “twenty minute walking group” based at Shenley Green Surgery. The last time we wrote about it on this blog was the last session that Keiran ran, but we arranged for Gateway volunteers to get involved and help planning and running the sessions.
Well we’re delighted to say the group is still going, and members are meeting regularly.
A walking group is a great way to stay motivated and meet new people, as well as doing regular exercise, so we’re really pleased that the group has continued of their own accord, with support from Gateway Befriender Volunteers.
Stephen Farrell has been an active volunteer with the group almost since the beginning, and has continued to meet with the group fortnightly. He says, “I just really enjoy doing it and I like supporting the people who attend. So, as long as people enjoy meeting up, I will continue to support them to do it.”
Of course, walking is one of the easiest ways to get some gentle exercise. You don’t need any special equipment (apart from a good pair of shoes!) and you can do it virtually anywhere.
What’s more, 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. It’s very beneficial for those recovering from illness, and it’s ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active.
The Shenley Green walking group would love other people to walk with them. If you’d like to get active and meet new people, why not join them? To find out more, call Gateway on 0121 456 7820 and ask for Keiran Mackenzie or Sarah Hibberd.
In the video below, Linda and Monica, who you might remember from the previous video, talk about the benefits they get from walking with the group.
Meanwhile, staff at Gateway have been talking to the streets too! Gateway’s Office Manager Maxine has started a walking group for staff. She said, “I wanted to do something social that would also give us a bit of exercise. Walking is ideal really; it’s free and it’s also good fun. The walk we’ve worked out lasts about an hour and we get to see some really nice parts of the city. It’s good because we find ourselves talking about all sorts of things, not just work!” The group is planning to walk every Thursday after work during the spring and summer months.