Enjoying Croydon’s parks and open spaces, spending quality time with family and friends, tackling air pollution and feeling healthier are a few of the benefits residents can enjoy during National Walking Month in May.
People are being encouraged to walk more this month and step up to a healthier lifestyle. It is an opportunity for everyone to do a bit more exercise and improve their wellbeing by taking regular breaks outdoors in the fresh air and leaving the car at home.
You can take part by joining one of Croydon’s many guided walks. There are more than 80 guided walks and events throughout the year to help you discover and enjoy local parks and open spaces www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/parksandopenspaces/walks
There is also information about the benefits of walking and being more active on Croydon Council’s health website for residents at www.justbecroydon.org/be-active/quick-tips/
Croydon resident Ken Morcombe is a Croydon Health Walks leader: “Walking has been very beneficial for my health and wellbeing. I have a history of cardiac disease which has resulted in three major surgical interventions. Due to the exercise from walking, I am now blessed with good health and a high level of fitness. I really enjoy taking part and leading the walks and seeing others’ fitness levels also improve. It has been great to watch the scheme grow from a handful of walkers to some of the most popular locations hosting more than a hundred walkers on a single day. In addition, it is a good way to enjoy our lovely parks and open spaces, along with company, which is important for our emotional and mental wellbeing too.”
The Try 20 element of the National Walking Month initiative includes 20 top tips to get you to do at least 20 minutes of walking a day. Suggestions to get you to take to your feet include:
• Getting snap happy while out walking and seeing how many hidden treasures you can capture on camera.
• Make someone’s day by sharing a walk with friends or neighbours during the bank holiday weekend.
• Try a walking meeting – the fresh air and a change of scenery will boost your energy and productivity.
• Walk to a local shop and pick up ingredients for your supper, you’ll also get those arm muscles active from carrying your bags.
There are more Try 20 tips on the Living Streets website www.livingstreets.org.uk/workplaces/try20-tips
“Walking is free, flexible and fun, and proven to have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. It is a great way to discover your local area as well as helping you to save money, burn calories and be happier and more productive at work. You can also do your bit to improve the environment and tackle air pollution by stepping out of the car to reduce congestion on our roads.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care