Walk for health in the borough’s winter wonderland
It may be cold outside, but Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s health walks are proven to warm your soul – and help you become fitter.
There are 23 health walks held every week at locations all around the borough and suitable for all fitness levels, from beginner to more experienced walkers.
Led by a trained walk leader, they are free, fun and a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air and meet friendly fellow residents. So far, between 12 and 56 walkers turn up for each walk, totalling approximately 1,000 walkers a month.
The council’s programme is part of the national Walking for Health initiative, a partnership between the Ramblers’ Association and Macmillan Cancer Care to encourage physical activity for everyone, improving mental health and wellbeing at the same time.
Due to popular demand, the Wednesday evening walk has been extended into a programme of winter wonderland walks. These walks start at 7pm from different locations within the Basingstoke Town area. The last walk is on Wednesday 19 December and leaves the Ridgeway Centre, Buckskin, finishing with mince pies and a hot drink.
The health walks are also held in Eastrop, Basing Wood, Popley, Kempshott, Brighton Hill, Baughurst, Buckskin, Tadley, Oakley, Overton, Whitchurch and East Woodhay. Full details are here on the council’s website: https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/healthwalks.
Most health walks offer the choice of a long walk of 90 minutes and a short walk of 60 minutes. The council offers a buddy system for walkers who are new and feel less confident to join the walk group on their own.
Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety Cllr Simon Bound said: “Walking has many benefits. In addition to being enjoyable and a great opportunity to make friends, it helps people get fit, lose weight and boosts mental wellbeing.
“Everybody is welcome to join in the walks, which are held at various times of the day and evening across the borough. Why not give it a go this winter - explore the outdoors and feel great.”
Anybody who enjoys health walks and would like to become a walk leader should contact Elinor Gold on 01256 845284, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/volunteer-walk-leaders and download the booking form for the training session.