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Walk your way to better health

Published: 08/05/2024
Group of people walking

May is National Walking Month and Kent County Council (KCC) is encouraging you to join in the annual celebration of this fun free activity to boost your fitness and wellbeing.

Joining a walking group can also help you find new friends, while swapping a short car drive for a walk or wheel can save you money on fuel and cut traffic queues.

If you live in East Kent, find out about the free Walk and Talks offered by One You Kent – the service is run for KCC by the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT).

If you live in West Kent, wellbeing walks funded by KCC are managed by your local District or Borough council – some are holding walks to mark the national awareness month. Use these contacts to find a walk near you.  

There’s also lots of opportunities to help others improve their health and wellbeing through walking by becoming a volunteer walk leader.

If you have a few hours spare to help residents of all ages and fitness levels to get moving and meet new people you sound a perfect fit!

To apply to join the group of walk leader volunteers in East Kent email kentchft.walkandtalk@nhs.net or call 07539 243412.

KCC Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, said: “Just a 20-minute walk a day can help reduce the risk of a range of illnesses including some cancers, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

“Fittingly, National Walking Month organisers Living Streets have put together 20 tips to help you squeeze a daily walk into your life. Ideally, we should aim to walk 10,000 steps each day but that’s not easy for everyone. So, set yourself a goal you can reach, try the 20 tips and feel a happier you.”

Read the #try20 checklist and if you have a smartphone use it to track your activity.

Andrea Olver, One You Walk and Talk Co-ordinator for KCHFT, said: “Walking is a great way to improve your physical fitness and your mental and emotional wellbeing."

The volunteer Health Walk Leader added: "The groups are a great way to meet people and feel connected to others too.”

KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Dan Watkins, said: “Even a short stroll or wheel can brighten your day and be good for your health. 

“I’ve signed up to Active Kent & Medway’s ‘Travel Your Way’ Challenge to walk every day this May. I’ll be using #try20 to help me do it and I’d really like you to join me because every step counts towards better health.

“We’re lucky to live in a county with lots of walking and wheeling routes to suit all ages and abilities. Use the Kent Connected app to get free Explore Kent guides and Ordnance Survey map data to show you the way. Alternatively, get involved in one of our One You Kent walking groups, to help you get moving and enjoy the great outdoors.” 

 

Article courtesy of Kent County Council