Exercise for free with Health Walks scheme

FEELING great in 2011 starts with small steps - walking is fun, free and a fresh air way to help along those resolutions and with Horsham District Council’s Health Walks it’s easy to do.

The Health Walks scheme, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010, has over 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

Three different levels of difficulty are offered within the walks programme.

Level 1 walks – Suitable for new walkers, those recovering from illness, accident or operation and walkers with limited stamina. No stiles on these walks.

Level 2 walks – Moderate walking speed, often stiles and inclines on the route.

Level 3 walks – Fast steady pace. The route could involve steep inclines, stiles and rutted terrain.

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