We are teaming up with Onelife who currently offer a wide range of free Health Walks for the community. There are over 200 walks available and one for every ability, held in various locations throughout Suffolk.
Walking for health is England’s largest network of health walk schemes and helps all kind of people to lead a more active lifestyle. The walks are led by friendly and specially trained volunteers who, along with fellow walkers, provide all the advice and encouragement a new walker needs to build fitness at a pace that’s right for them. In just a short time, a small amount of regular exercise can significantly improve a person’s health, well-being and confidence.
This new and exciting initiative titled ‘Wellbeing Health Walks’ is being done in collaboration with the Onelife and Nansen Road Community House, with a focus on Mental Health. Present on these walks will be a mental health professional/clinician and representatives from organisations wishing to network and offer support.
We hope that a typical walk will have in attendance;
- A Mental health practitioner
- A MIND representative
- Someone from the wellbeing service
- A social prescribing lead
- An Inside out representative
To start, we are trialling these walks in Ipswich – one within the Priory Heath catchment area and one from the Suffolk University of the waterfront.
Health Walks are a great way to encourage people from the community to get together and be more active.
We hope to;
- Increase awareness of mental health issues and encourage people to talk openly, without fear of being judged or not listened to
- Offer support to those suffering with, or supporting others, with mental illness
- Hear about various groups/organisations/support that is offered locally
- Enable members of the community to meet others with similar concerns/issues/experiences
- Offer physical stimulation that can help people to feel better - One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Being active can help manage physical and mental stress by increasing concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. It can also boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension, boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image, and the Vitamin D acquired from sunlight can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms which is vital over the winter months
- Encourage people to get moving during the winter months which can have a positive impact on their wellbeing from the social interaction and physical exercise combined
- Decrease isolation and loneliness
- Decrease the stigma attached to mental illness
If you would like to get involved you can either;
- Come along to one of the walks and join in with conversations around wellbeing, meet some new friends and get active!
- Put yourself forward to be a Volunteer Walk Leader
- Click here for more information and the latest brochure from Onelife; https://onelifesuffolk.co.uk/our-services/health-walks/