May is National Walking Month and Hertfordshire County Council is inviting residents to lace up their walking boots and take part in a mass Health Walk on Monday 8 May.
Last year, nearly 8,000 people got into their stride on local walks organised by Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Service during the month of May. The mass health walk in 2016 saw 630 residents out walking at the same time in locations across Hertfordshire - and we are hoping to smash this record on Monday.
One of our Health Walks is kicking off at 12.50pm at County Hall. So if you want to get active at lunchtime, please join us and help us set a new record in Hertfordshire.
Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council, Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We want to promote the benefits of walking to get as many people as possible moving, no matter what their level of fitness is. Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to be more active, lose weight and become healthier. It helps your stress levels too. So dust off your walking shoes, get moving this month and help us break last year’s impressive record.”
Hertfordshire Health Walks are coordinated by the Countryside Management Service in partnership with many district councils, the county Public Health department and the NHS.
The free, guided, local and health-focused walks help everyone across the county get outdoors, become more active and reap the benefits. There are approximately 55 Hertfordshire health walks each week led by 260 volunteer walk leaders, with over 40,000 people taking part annually.
The Countryside Management Service (CMS) works with communities in Hertfordshire to help them care for and enjoy the environment. People can join the CMS if they want to get involved in looking after their local countryside and green spaces and improving facilities for people who wish to get outdoors and become more active.
For more information visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/cms
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Barry Laymond, who guides health walks in Hertsmere, describes getting involved with the health walks as one of the best decisions he ever made: “I joined as a walker and decided to become a volunteer health walk leader, having progressed through all the grades of walks as my fitness and confidence improved. One of the nice things apart from chatting to different people on the walks is the social get together for refreshments after the walk.”
Jacky Fitzgerald is a Watford and Three Rivers health walk leader who found that the walks helped restore her confidence after she was made redundant from her job. “Being a Hertfordshire health walk volunteer has given me a purpose and I am pleased that I am able to do something for the community. I am keen to help people to exercise in whichever way they can and the health walks have different levels to suit all abilities.”