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
Listen to the Forest FM radio interviewing about Ringwood Healthy Walks with Craig Summers, the new Volunteer Walk Leader.
Healthy Walks in the New Forest
Entry level/wheelchair users - under 30 mins
Looking to increase activity - 30-60 mins
More challenging – 45-60 mins
(Not included as open Health Walk)
(Regular accompanied short walks for older people)
Ringwood Day Centre
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
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.