Health walks proving popular
A Lanarkshire project is encouraging more people to improve their health by walking.
Get Walking Lanarkshire operates a programme of health walks which attracts around 300 people each week.
Since May 2014, 243 people have signed up to the programme, the number of walks available has doubled from 13 to 27 and 110 people have trained as volunteer walk leaders.
Get Walking Lanarkshire has been developed, with a range of other activities, through the Lanarkshire Greenspace Health and Wellbeing Partnership, which includes North and South Lanarkshire Councils, NHS Lanarkshire, leisure trusts and third sector partners.
The health walk project is jointly funded by Paths for All, a key delivery partner of the Scottish Government's National Walking Strategy and NHS Lanarkshire.
"This project has increased the number of people walking regularly, with 75% of participants now doing more than the average recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity a week - compared to 25% when they joined the programme," said Councillor Michael McPake, Convener of the Environmental Services Committee.
"Walking is an excellent way to improve physical and mental health, and feedback from participants is that the walks programme is a fun and friendly way to be more active, meet new people and enjoy the local environment."
A health walk is a short, safe, low-level walk ranging from 10 minutes to one hour but with a pace to suit the individuals in the group. It is completely free, safe and gentle so it is the ideal way for most people to become more active.
Get Walking Lanarkshire is working towards achieving Dementia Friendly Walking accreditation, which enables people with dementia and their carers to easily access health walks.
Following the success of the first Walking Festival in September last year, North Lanarkshire Council's Access Team, in partnership with the North Lanarkshire Outdoor Access Forum, is organising a second festival between 7 and 13 August 2017.
The aim of the event is to promote walking as a healthy lifestyle activity and to highlight the resources available to walkers in North Lanarkshire, including walking clubs and groups and the local path network.
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