Click on the video to hear what Ray says about healthy walking
Walking for Health is a low cost and cost-effective way of helping people in local areas to take control of their own health and lead more active lives by taking part in regular led health walks.
Walking is the best choice for regular healthy exercise. Unlike most other forms of exercise:
- Walking is free and requires no special equipment or training
- Almost everyone is capable of walking, anywhere and it is safe, low impact, with a low risk of injuries and accidents.
Regular walking will:
- Improve your heart health
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Help maintain a healthy weight
- Build strength in muscles and bones
- Build stamina and give you more energy
- Boost your immune system
- Help you breathe more efficiently
- Aid restful sleep
- Build confidence and mental well-being
What is a health walk?
A free led group walk usually lasting between 30-90 minutes. It should start at a slow pace to allow warm up, speed up for the main part of the walk and then slow towards the end to allow cool down. It should make the individual feel warmer and sweat a little, increase their rate of breathing and raise their pulse – but not so fast that they cannot talk.
What is Walking for Health?
Walking for Health encourages people of all ages to join regular, short walks in their own communities. Fun, free and supportive, which is why once they've tried it walkers tend to stick at it. Led by a trained walk leader, the walk helps boost the health of participants whilst enjoying local, natural spaces in the company of others. The social side of walking can be as important for wellbeing as the walk itself. There are more than 600 led heath walk scheme in England, many of which offer a number of walks each week.
What do I need?
- Comfortable casual shoes, hat and gloves during winter and suitable coat
- Loose fitting clothing allowing free movement
- Any medication that you might need
To be a walker with the Healthy Walks Scheme you will need to complete a Walker Registration Form on your first walk.
On each of your following walks you will be asked by the Volunteer Walk Leader to sign a register on arrival.
Entry level/wheelchair users
under 30 mins
Looking to increase activity
Avon Valley Not included as
open health walk
Regular accompanied short walks for older people
Ringwood Day Centre
Ringwood BH24 1DH
Ringwood and Fordingbridge
Tern Hide Car Park
Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve
(off the A338)
Carers' Walk - Fordingbridge
07788 558 864
Healthy Walks Administrator’
1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Tuesday
Bath Road Car Park
Tel: 07786 535765 or
Tel: 07788 558864
Milford Health Walks
Milford on Sea Village Community Cafe
9 Sea Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0PH
Solent Mind, Marcella House
Tel 023 8084 1341
New Milton Wellbeing Walk at Ballard Lake. People with learning difficulties, dementia or other health issues are welcome. Mencap take part last Monday in month
10.20am arrival and walking at 10.30am
Links to Healthy Walking related websites can be found by following this link
These walks are intended for, and should only be undertaken by persons in basic good health. If you are in any doubt about whether you are medically fit to undertake any walk, you should contact your doctor before participating. You are responsible for your own, and any accompanying under 18’s safety. Volunteer Walks Leaders are not trained to provide first aid. All walkers walk at their own risk. Only assistance dogs are permitted on the walks.
Please Note: Walk leaders are volunteers, without whom there would be no walks
We are always keen to have more walk leaders – if you are interested and would like further information, please contact our Healthy Walks Co-ordinator:Telephone: 01425 482773 Email: email@example.comIf you would like to enrol on a Walk Leader training course please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Walk Leader Training
Following the success of the its Volunteer Walk Leader training, Community First New Forest hopes to offer further opportunities for people to train to organise and lead healthy walks across the New Forest.
Header Image © Natural England / Walking for Health / Paul Glendell