Get Wiltshire Walking
Not only do the walks improve health and wellbeing, but socially they can have a big impactCarolyn Godfrey
Every month is a walking month for Get Wiltshire Walking, as the project offers a comprehensive programme of 31 free led weekly health walks of varying levels at 18 locations across the county.
Since 2011, Get Wiltshire Walking's volunteer walk leaders have provided free opportunities for Wiltshire's residents to increase their physical activity on a regular basis, while enjoying the benefits of exercising outdoors. In addition, the programme actively encourages the development of personal leadership and organisational skills through the training offered to volunteer walk leaders.
Over 2,500 residents have taken part in walks, with around 450 who are regular weekly participants aiming to be healthier and improve their wellbeing.
Carolyn Godfrey, corporate director at Wiltshire Council said: I'm delighted so many people in Wiltshire have benefitted from Get Wiltshire Walking. Not only do the walks improve health and wellbeing, but socially they can have a big impact. I would encourage anyone wanting to get healthier and fitter while making friends along the way, to try a walk near to them".
The sense of community fostered through the walking groups has provided some walkers with support and encouragement through periods of anxiety and ill health. Mental health and wellbeing is high on the national agenda and research has proved walking outdoors and with others is key to tackling anxiety and depression as well as playing a role in the prevention or slowing down of onset of dementia and Alzheimer's.
For more information on the walks visit https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/get-wiltshire-walking