Walking Back To Happiness

Beverley Leisure Centre

The East Riding’s ‘Walking for Health’ programme has helped almost 2,000 get back on their feet after suffering an illness or injury.

With Older People’s Day taking place on Thursday 1 October, aimed at celebrating the abilities and achievements of older people, older residents in the East Riding are being encouraged to find out more about how they too can benefit from the scheme.

The ’s Sport, Play and Arts Service, in partnership with the countryside access team and a group of dedicated volunteer walk leaders, offers over 40 walks a month in around 18 locations across the East Riding.

The walks, which start from 30 minutes in duration, are part of the National Walking for Health programme which is governed by Macmillan Cancer Care and the Ramblers Association.

The walks are aimed at anyone, regardless of age or ability, who has an interest in walking or wants to slowly introduce exercise into their daily routine as part of rehabilitation from illness, injury or simply to get fit.

To date a total of 1,759 people have taken part in the scheme, of which 95% have reported an improvement in their health.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, chairman of the East Riding Health and Wellbeing Board said: “Walking is a fantastic way to improve fitness and meet new people while exploring some of the fantastic natural landscapes that the East Riding has to offer.

“I would encourage anyone wanting to improve their health and wellbeing to get involved in one of the many walks on offer or to simply find out more about how the Walking for Health scheme could benefit them.”

Many of the walks particularly appeal to older residents who want to use gentle exercise like walking to aid their recovery from injury or illness.

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One person who has benefitted from the scheme is Osteo-Arthritis sufferer Jane Lumb who over the past 10 years has had both hips and knees replaced.

Former nurse Jane, who was once able to cope with the demands of a busy family and work life, found herself feeling unfit and putting on weight due to the years of surgery and physiotherapy.

Several months ago Jane began to walk for 30 minutes a week with the Walking for Health group at East Riding Leisure .

Jane has progressed up to 45 minute walks and knows with the right help and a positive attitude she can begin to live life to the full again.

“It’s the first step. The right step for me to begin to live again. It’s given me so much confidence, the walking scheme has made such a difference already, it has saved me,” Jane said.

For further details about the scheme contact Laura Hutchinson, healthy lifestyles development officer on laura.hutchinson@eastriding.gov.uk or call 01482 392527.

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