Free UK health initiative – Walking for Health

Physical inactivity is a growing health concern, and the impact on public health has been compared with that of smoking, costing the economy billions every year.

Even if you are on a budget or are not used to being physically active, walking is a great way to ease yourself into a healthier lifestyle. All you need is the right footwear and you are ready to go!

Walking for health

You can walk alone or with friends from your doorstep, or if you prefer to make it a more formal activity, look out for organised walks in your local area.

Dr William Bird, MBE, believes walking outdoors to be an effective medicine for a variety of health conditions, and founded Walking for Health, a free country-wide initiative, particularly aimed at people who don’t already take much exercise.

Regular brisk walking with a Walking for Health scheme is a great way to get regular exercise that can have direct beneficial effects on your health. Walking for Health encourages more people to become physically active in their local communities.

Walking for Health aims to “make it possible for people to get out and be physically active in their local natural spaces. This brings many benefits for both the individual walkers and their communities. The most important benefits are improved physical and mental health.

Health walks are:

  • developed in local areas
  • led by trained volunteers
  • supported and funded through local partnerships
  • promoted and insured by the national centre”

Check out your nearest scheme at You could even start a new scheme by becoming a walk leader yourself, if there isn’t already one running in your local community.



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