Fun healthy and free - a new health walk for Valley Park.
Every Saturday at 10.30am
from the Knightwood Leisure Centre.
So, what are the Health Walks all about exactly…?
Southern Test Valley Health Walks are part of a large, national scheme, the ‘Walking the Way to Health Scheme’. a joint initiative between Natural England and the British Heart Foundation, helped by additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund. Walking the Way to Health (WHI) are the largest national body promoting and setting the standards for led Health Walks. It has so far helped to create over 400 local walking schemes, such as ours, and has trained more than 30,000 volunteers! Since 2000, it is estimated that over a million people have been encouraged to walk more thanks to these walks! Pretty impressive hey?
What is a Health Walk?
The aim of a Health Walk is to get people walking more in their own neighbourhood for enjoyment, to meet others and also to benefit their health and wellbeing.
Health Walks are primarily aimed at those who need to become more active, or anyone recovering from poor health, but of course, are open to anyone who enjoys walking as part of a group too. They are short walks, lasting up to an hour.
The current recommended guidelines for physical activity set by the Department of Health are 30 minutes in total, five times a week. This is what we should all be aiming to achieve, combined with a healthy diet.
The main message we try to get across to walkers is that you should walk at your own pace at an intensity that makes you:
- breathe a little faster
- feel warmer
- have a slightly faster heartbeat
If you experience one or all of these you will be on the way to improving your health! However, the intensity should be comfortable and you should still be able to talk, not gasping for breath, and of course be able to socialise afterwards!!!