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Hertfordshire Year of Walking

Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Service (CMS) and Public Health Team have launched the Hertfordshire Year of Walking, a celebration of all the fantastic walking opportunities the county has to offer.

The aim is to get more people walking in the county as a means of exercise, leisure and for making short journeys more active. Whether walking appeals as a means of losing weight, improving health, or simply enjoying some fresh air, the Hertfordshire Year of Walking will provide the motivation to get moving!

Walking more can help tackle the problem of physical inactivity in the county by encouraging more people to walk as a means of achieving the UK Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation of 150 minutes moderate intensity exercise per week. As a low-impact form of exercise walking offers many options for progression – start slowly on flat and even ground, over short distances and gradually build up your speed, incline and distance.

Through the website www.hertsdirect.org/walking Hertfordshire residents can keep up to date with the latest organised walking events, links to existing walking groups across the county, such as the Hertfordshire Health Walks (www.hertfordshirehealthwalks.org), and have the opportunity to commit to increasing their physical activity levels by completing the ‘Pledge to Walk’ survey. In return for their pledge, residents can choose to receive the monthly Hertfordshire Year of Walking newsletter, and via www.hertsdirect.org/walking, have easy access to resources including circular walk routes and maps for their local area.

Walking is an outdoor activity all residents can enjoy. According to NICE only 4 per cent of people either need help when walking outside the home or are unable to walk at all. The project aims to highlight and improve the accessibility of walk routes around the county to enable those living with physical disabilities, such as wheelchair users, to reap the health and wellbeing benefits of exploring their local environment. Hertfordshire boasts 3,200kms of Rights of Way network, 42 open spaces with Green Flag status and miles of accessible disused railway lines and towpaths, just waiting to be explored on foot.

So become involved in the Hertfordshire Year of Walking through:

–       Visiting www.hertsdirect.org/walking to find existing walk programmes, news and events.

–       Completing the Pledge to Walk survey via www.hertsdirect.org/walking.

–       Email walking@hertfordshire.gov.uk to subscribe to the Hertfordshire Year of Walking newsletter or to connect with a team member.

–       Check out the Walks & More events calendar at www.hertsdirect.org/walksandmore and book your place for an upcoming event.

–       Volunteer as a Health Walk or guided walk leader or register your own event by emailing walking@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

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