Walks keep Horsham healthy

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A NEW ‘all weather’ autumn programme has been brought out by Horsham District Council’s Health Walks scheme featuring a wide variety of free to attend walks for all levels of walkers.

The scheme, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010, has more than 200 guided walks across the Horsham district and all the walks are led by fully trained volunteers.

Walking is a great form of exercise. It can be incorporated easily into everyday life, regardless of age or fitness.

Walking is especially important for those with specific health problems or with very limited fitness.

It can also play a major role in helping maintain a good level of fitness and keeping illness at bay. What’s more, it’s free.

The walks scheme gives people regular slots that they can take up and there is always a walk on Saturdays and Sundays as well as regular walks throughout the week month and year.

The main benefits of walking regularly are:

* Walking can prevent and manage heart disease

* Regular walking can help reduce weight, prevent weight gain, strengthen bones and reduce osteoporosis

* Regular walking can improve balance, co-ordination and flexibility, which helps to prevent falls

* Exercise can help relieve anxiety and depression

Jill Shuker, Health Walks coordinator at Horsham District Council, said:“We all know that we’d be healthier, happier and sharper if we exercised regularly. But despite our best intentions, getting active sometimes doesn’t happen.

“National guidelines recommend getting at least two and a half hours of exercise a week.  That can seem quite a tough challenge with our busy lives.

“But there is good news: a new study suggests that you don’t have to work out that much to gain health benefits.

“Even small amounts of physical activity — say, half the national recommendation — are enough to improve heart health. So come and join us for a walk and start looking after your heart on a regular basis.”

For more information and a list of the latest walks, go to the Horsham District Council website www.horsham.gov.uk or alternatively call Horsham District Council on 01403 215269 or email jill.shuker@horsham.gov.uk