What is a health walk?

Walker and waymarker signHealthwalks 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:

  1. they are suitable for all ages and abilities
  2. 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.
  3. they allow everyone to walk at their own pace.
  4. they are all accessible by public transport.
  5. the walk route has been agreed in advance and Risk Assessed.
  6. you don't need to worry about getting lost
  7. group walks are a great opportunity for people to make new friends and have regular social contact.
  8. they are clearly graded so that you know which walks are on the flat and which have gradients.
  9. walks are in urban areas as well as the countryside.
  10. walkers are encouraged to start slowly to allow themselves to warm up,
  11. 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.
  12. walkers are encouraged to slow down at the end of the walk to let their heart rate and breathing return to normal before stopping.
  13. walkers can be advised on other aspects that can maximise the health benefits of their walking - such as posture.
  14. led walk groups usually have tea and a chat at the end of the walk.