Walking is just as good as any other form of exercise, and is ideal for those who are unused to physical activity, as a way to gradually build up confidence and strength.
"Stepping Out in Suffolk" is a county-wide partnership of health, local councils, voluntary and other organisations, such as the Forestry Commission, who are working with the Countryside Agency to help improve the health and fitness of people through the development of a range of led walks across the County. These walks are also known as "Health walks" or "Walking for health".
Health Walks are designed for people who may be recovering from an illness, or have a health problem such as arthritis or heart disease, or people who want to lose a little weight - but most of all they are fun and sociable.
The pace of the walk is gentle, but brisk enough to benefit your heart. Picture it - you are late for an appointment, you are walking fast enough to become warm, but not sweaty. You are breathing a little quicker, but you can still hold a conversation and by the end of the walk you feel as though you have had some exercise but could still do a little more.
"Stepping Out Walks" are led by volunteers who are trained and qualified to lead a group of people. Each walk lasts between ¾ hour and an hour, covering a distance of 1 or 2 miles. The walks are generally on the level and there are some walks that are particularly suitable for people who use a wheelchair or for people accompanied by children in pushchairs. The Walk Leader will talk with you to check you are all right to take part in the walk before starting.
If you like walking, have a little bit of free time, like meeting people and want to be part of a supportive network then please go along and join in. Free training and insurance is available to all walk leaders.
There are over 200 walks available every month across Suffolk and all of the details can be found on the Year of Walking website.
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Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. It is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to become more active.
Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illness and can also be a great way of reducing social isolation and improving mental health.
The Suffolk Year of Walking website has brought together a diverse range of walking related events across the county in one place and has an events section which is constantly updated with new walking events and details of how you can take part, including different ways of walking, including walking football and Nordic walking.