Representatives from the partners at the launch of Get Walking
It's healthy, fun and free - and there's no better time to start
- Get Walking Lanarkshire has just been launched to encourage more
people to get outdoors and enjoy the many benefits of walking.
Run by North and South Lanarkshire Councils and their leisure
trusts, NHS Lanarkshire and Paths for All, the initiative aims to
improve the health and well-being of local residents of all
"More and more evidence is showing that taking part in outdoor
activities and having contact with nature can provide significant
benefits for people's physical and mental health," explains Johann
Duffy, the initiative's health walk co-ordinator.
"We are developing a programme of free health walks around
Lanarkshire, which make the most of our local environment and
encourage people to be fitter and healthier. By walking with
others, it's also a very sociable activity that helps our general
Health walks are free, short, friendly group walks for all ages
and abilities and led by trained volunteers. There are also
opportunities for people to train as volunteer walk leaders,
helping local groups to take up walking and keep healthy.
"Improving the health and well-being of our residents is a key
objective for the council, and Get Walking Lanarkshire will help us
and our partners achieve this," said Councillor Helen McKenna,
convener of the environmental services committee at North
"Walking is the simplest way to include exercise in our daily
lives, and with fantastic parks and paths across Lanarkshire,
there's plenty of places to enjoy a walk at your own pace."
Regular physical activity has been shown to lower the risk of
early death, help control weight and reduce the risk of heart
disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some types of
cancer and a host of other conditions. It helps maintain good
mental health, keeps your brain active and lowers risk of hip
fractures. Walking is a perfect start for people who wish to ease
themselves in, and build up their fitness.
Gabe Docherty, health promotion manager for NHS Lanarkshire
said: "We know that being active really helps our physical and
mental health both in terms of staying well and recovering from
physical and mental health problems.
"These benefits are even greater when the activity is outdoors
and even greater still when we connect with other people. Walking
is free and adds great value to our Well Connected programme which
aims to make it easier for all of us have access to
to protect and improve our physical and mental health. Let's all
Get Walking Lanarkshire."
Ian Findlay, chief officer of Paths for All said: "As the
Scottish charity that champions everyday walking in Scotland, Paths
for All want to get people walking: everyone, everywhere and every
"Walking is the easiest, cheapest and simplest way for everyone
to get the 30 minutes of every day physical activity they need to
For more information on Get Walking Lanarkshire, email Johann
Duffy at email@example.com.