A new lease of life with Ramblers Wellbeing Walks

A conversation with Paul, who joined a Ramblers Wellbeing Walk after being told he was at risk of developing diabetes

Paul was sceptical about the impact a short weekly walk could have on his health, and its ability to help him lose the weight he needed to keep diabetes at bay. However, when he took the plunge and joined a Ramblers Wellbeing Walk in Wisbech one Friday morning, it was a step that would lead to a much healthier, happier lifestyle.

Part of the reason his scepticism was reversed was hearing the stories of other walkers in the group – especially Dee, who was leading the walk, who had been through her own journey of building up her health through walking. And so, here, he shares his story with the hope to inspire others.


I had sort of given up when my wife died…

“My wife and I, when she was alive, we were always on diets. You know, eating green things one day and red the next, that sort of thing. But, I had sort of given up when she died.

“She died eight years ago now, and for the first five years, I just ate and drank. I suspect now, it was something to do with grief.”

The doctor told me I was very, very close to getting type 2 diabetes…

“My weight got up to 20.5 stone and the doctor’s surgery got in touch with me to say, you’re very, very close to getting type 2 diabetes, you must do something about it. And that really was the thing that got me going… I don’t want diabetes.

“The surgery put me in touch with an NHS system and eventually they put me on a course that was about both healthy eating and exercise. Anyway, at one of those talks, it was suggested I came and join one of these organised walks.”

Wisbech RWW group smiling into a camera with a park pavilion behind.

I asked, where do they walk and I thought it would be dull…

I was told they walked around Wisbech and I thought, what, aren’t we going to the countryside or something? I thought I’d try it, but I thought it would be dull. I couldn’t see any point just walking around the streets. But actually, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the past, the little walks I’d gone on, I’d always walked on my own or with my wife. But it’s been so nice talking to people as you go along.

The people were so friendly, and I thought, right, I’ll try it again next week and then I started going on a fairly regular basis. My family have been encouraging me because they’re fairly keen walkers and have been saying, I really should lose weight.


This has given me a much more positive attitude, I feel I’m winning…

I’m feeling a lot, lot better, having lost the weight. My back doesn’t hurt, I feel much livelier than I did before. I try to stick to the diet as best I can, although occasionally I do have a glass or two of wine.

It’s had a lot more benefits other than the weight loss. Psychologically, I feel a lot more positive than I did before.”


It got me into a new lifestyle…

While I don’t go to the Friday walk any longer, I’m very grateful to Dee and all the organisations involved because it got me into a new lifestyle. I’m now walking, cycling and swimming more than I was doing 40 years ago. I feel 100% better than I did when I started.

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Group walking on paved surface in park, some with walking sticks.

Getting started with walking

Our Wellbeing Walks make getting active easier, for everyone. Because you’ll be walking with others, you’ll feel safe, be supported, and have fun along the way.

Women looking back to camera and smiling, while on group walk in the woods.

Walking to improve your health and wellbeing

Going for a walk gives us the feel-good factor. Find out how you can reduce your risk of illness in one simple step.

Woman smiling at camera holding a blue water bottle.

Walking with health conditions

Walking can help manage health conditions, reduce symptoms, and boost our mood. We’ll help you take your first steps to being more active, with confidence.