What is a health walk?
Healthwalks range between 1 and 4 miles in length and should take between half an hour and an hour and a half to complete. They are led by trained Volunteer Walk Leaders and are designed to benefit people's health and provide a relaxed social opportunity.
What makes a Healthwalk special:
- they are suitable for all ages and abilities
- group walks are led by trained Volunteer Walk Leaders (VWL). The lead VWL walks ahead with the fastest walker, and the back Walk Leader supports the slowest.
- they allow everyone to walk at their own pace.
- they are all accessible by public transport.
- the walk route has been agreed in advance and Risk Assessed.
- you don't need to worry about getting lost
- group walks are a great opportunity for people to make new friends and have regular social contact.
- they are clearly graded so that you know which walks are on the flat and which have gradients.
- walks are in urban areas as well as the countryside.
- walkers are encouraged to start slowly to allow themselves to warm up,
- walkers are then encouraged to increase to their own brisk pace if they can. They should aim to be breathing faster, feeling a little warmer and have a slightly faster pulse. They should also be able to carry on a conversation comfortably. If they can't they should be encouraged to slow down.
- walkers are encouraged to slow down at the end of the walk to let their heart rate and breathing return to normal before stopping.
- walkers can be advised on other aspects that can maximise the health benefits of their walking - such as posture.
- led walk groups usually have tea and a chat at the end of the walk.