What is National Walking Month 2021?
May is National Walking Month and it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside, start moving and raise money! Walking is good for our minds, our bodies and our neighbourhoods and has been a lifeline during the past year, helping people stay active and connected through the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as the personal benefits we’ve experienced, lockdown has highlighted the improvements that can be made to congestion and air quality when we drive less. That’s why Living Streets want everyone to keep going and pledge to #WalkThisMay!
At the center of National Walking Month is Walk to School Week! Join Living Streets from the 17th to 21st May for there five-day walking challenge, an annual celebration and the perfect activity to celebrate National Walking Month! Helping children to reach their recommended 60 minutes minimum of physical activity per day, setting them up for a positive day in the classroom, and creating healthy habits for life!
To find out more about National Walking Month and how you can support this May, click here.
We’ve team up with Groundworks Northamptonshire’s Polly Shackleton to find out more about their Kettering Health walks program and how you can get involved this May.
- What are the Health Walks in Kettering?
Health walks are run across the Kettering area for anyone who would like to combine regular gentle exercise with a chance to meet like-minded people with a shared goal of improving their health & wellbeing. Each walk varies slightly in time and distance (lasting between 30 and 90 minutes) and can be adapted to suit the group’s ability and needs. There are a variety of walks running locally throughout the week and anyone is welcome to join in.
Current walks across the Kettering area:
- Kettering Mind – Mondays 11am, meet at Kettering Mind on Russell St
- Burton Latimer – Tuesdays 10am, meet outside the library
- Weekley Hall Wood – Wednesdays 10am, meet outside Holiday Inn
- The Green Patch – Thursdays 10am, meet at the Green Patch main gate
- For up to date info, please go to: kettering.gov.uk/info/20064/health/12164/health_walks
- How do I get involved in joining a Health Walk?
Visit the health walks website here to find out more about when local walks are running. Walks can be attended on a drop-in basis, although due to current restrictions it would be beneficial to get in touch beforehand so we can be sure of numbers in order to keep everyone safe. Please arrive as promptly as possible at the start time and the walk leader will introduce themselves and welcome you to the walk. If it is your first walk, you will need to complete a short health related form and you will be good to go!
- What are the benefits to walking and joining a walking group?
Walking is simple form of exercise that most of us do almost daily, yet it can be very easy to underestimate the huge benefits that it has on our physical and mental health. Regular gentle exercise, such as walking, has been shown to improve both heart health and blood circulation, boost the immune system, ease joint pain and lower blood sugar levels. Going for a walk when you are feeling tired can be as effective as drinking a cup of coffee or taking a short nap; oxygen flow is increased and hormones that boost energy levels, such as cortisol, are released in higher levels during this type of exercise. Walking regularly can help to encourage creative thinking, helps to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression and increase feelings of self-esteem, particularly when you are becoming a valued member of a group with a common purpose.
The biggest barrier to integrating regular walking into your life can be a lack of motivation and difficulty making it a part of your routine. This is why considering a walking group can be so beneficial. Meeting regularly with like-minded people who share a common goal in improving their health & wellbeing can help to develop a lifelong habit that will have positive impacts in every area of your wellbeing.
- Can I join as a volunteer with the walks?
Yes. Ideally, a walk should be run with two trained walk leaders so the more volunteers we have will help to keep the walks running smoothly and safely. Regular training sessions are held throughout the year and we are always looking for more volunteers to join our growing team of trained walkers. So please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if this something you would be interested in.
- Where can I find out more information about walks in Kettering and across North Northants?
More information on walks in Kettering can be found here. Across the wider borough, Walking for Health and The Ramblers websites offer lots of information around walking safely, discovering new routes and led walks in which you can join. These websites are a great opportunity to discover more about walking in Northamptonshire and join likeminded people in your area.