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Walking is beneficial to all age groups. Whether you choose to take a strenuous full day’s hill-walk up a Scottish Munro, a walk with the dog or a relaxing stroll around a country park with friends, it’s great exercise. In fact studies have shown that walking for a mere 30 minutes per day can improve your health.
The NHS rates walking as one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier nhs-start-walking. It is an exercise which improves your balance and leg muscle strength so can help to reduce falls (see our falls prevention page). Walking can also be a great social activity, engendering a sense of well-being.
You’ve no dog which needs exercising but you fancy giving it a go. Why not contact a local walking group? There are groups all over Scotland, some of them part of larger partnerships, for instance paths-for-all and Ramblers Scotland. The Ramblers have 54 groups north of the border. The Inverclyde Globetrotters group is within the Paths For All partnership and is featured on Page 9 of Advantage magazine Summer 2012. Other groups are entirely free-standing, for instance Age Scotland member The Tryst Over-50s Walking Group describes itself as ‘a walking group to keep members active and also to explore and encourage interest in countryside and historical sites.’
Nordic Walking is one of Europe’s fastest growing forms of physical activity and is particularly suited to people aged 50 and older. You walk using a pair of lightweight, specially designed poles that provide great support while also increasing the effectiveness of the exercise. Age Scotland’s sister charity Age Cymru runs a Nordic Walking programme with funding from the Welsh Government, which you can read about on page 24 of Advantage magazine Summer 2012.
'Walking Football' is similar to football but involves walking rather than running bbc-walk-football! West Lothian is one part of Scotland to have embraced this walk-football-west-lothian.
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