Walking for health

Joy shares how our Wellbeing Walks have helped with her mental and physical health

Read on for Joy's story or listen to her in her own words in her inspirational video

Joining Ramblers Wellbeing Walks

I joined Ramblers Wellbeing Walks in February 2020, after seeing a poster in my local church. I’d never been walking with a group before and I love trying new things, so I decided to give it a go.

I used to occasionally go for walks with a neighbour, but not on a regular basis. I really like that we have a walk planned every week with Ramblers Wellbeing Walks.

It feels safe, walking with a group, and it’s also a great way to socialise. It’s all about connections, connection to nature and connections to people. That’s grown into more connections around my neighbourhood with people I’ve got to know during the walks.

I love that there’s such a mix of ages in our group, ranging from 50 to 80-plus. It’s so welcoming and everyone helps each other out, which it’s lovely to see. So even those who are a bit older, or might find walking a bit tougher don’t feel like they are holding anyone back and can still enjoy the walk. Everyone looks out for each other and we always notice if someone doesn’t turn up one week.

Getting out in the fresh air is wonderful and with the walk leaders, we’ve discovered parts of the local area and amazing green spaces that we’ve never seen before. Lots of our walks are around Epping Forest and some of it is really quite breath taking. I have a lot of ‘Oh my God!’ moments!

The benefits of walking to health

It might be surprising to people, as I’m quite outgoing, but I suffer with anxiety. Ramblers Wellbeing Walks really help me with that. After a walk, I just feel euphoric. Being outside, chatting with everyone as we go along, connecting with nature and with people makes such a difference.

There’s a certain point in the walk where you’ve built up a bit of a sweat that you can just feel yourself physically relax. And being surrounded by greenery while walking and talking distracts from whatever I might be feeling anxious about at the time. It’s like a big relief.

Togetherness with other people and being out in open space is just a big breath of goodness. Everyone should go for a walk with no purpose at least once a week, just for a walk’s sake! Joining Ramblers Wellbeing Walks is one of the best things I’ve done for a long time, it’s just so beneficial for your whole body and mind.

Watch Joy's video to learn more about her Wellbeing Walks journey.

A man and young man, talking, standing on a hill

Sunday ‘Big Walks’ with my learning disabled son

Ramblers member Alan shares with us his experiences of walking with his son Eddie who has Downs Syndrome.

A woman and daughter wearing veils, out walking in autumn

Walking to catch up with friends

Anjum shares how walking in nature in North London helps her relax and keep in touch with family and friends.

A black man standing outdoors

Feeling at home in the countryside

Nick looks back at discovering walking in the countryside, the lack of diversity in the outdoors, and his passion to make sure his kids enjoy the countryside.