Home Health & Wellness “National Walking Month” with u3a

“National Walking Month” with u3a

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The benefits of walking are well documented and can strengthen muscles and, very importantly, bones as we get older, helping to prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. This type of exercise can also help with mental well-being by increasing mood and confidence, as well as energy levels.

u3a’s mantra of “learn, laugh, and live” can be seen easily when viewing the positive benefits that those members of walking groups have obtained from the social aspect of rambling and chatting away with friends. The comments below offer a little more insight as to why members love their walking groups so much.

Terry Dykes of Holmes Chapel & District u3a said: “I joined u3a because of the wide range of activities available and to learn new skills in retirement. I have always walked as a Scout Leader when younger and in later life in the Peak District. I would list the benefits of being part of my u3a walking groups as friendship, social contact, fitness and improved mental health. I walk 15-20 miles per week and my favourite places to walk are the Peak District National Park and the Cheshire Plain. If I had one word that describes my experience as a u3a member, it would be inspiring!”

Pauline Lenney of Lancaster and Morecambe u3a said: “When I retired, I suddenly found that I had the time to run, walk, cycle, and go to the gym. There were no excuses for making unhealthy lifestyle choices or for being unfit. I embraced the concept of ‘positive ageing’ – maintaining an optimistic attitude, feeling good about myself, keeping fit and healthy, and engaging fully in everything. I trained to become a Nordic Walking Instructor. When the days are cold, the skies are dark, the ground is muddy, the wind is howling through the trees, and you simply want to close the curtains and turn up the heating… You put on your boots, find your gloves and pack your waterproofs. Because you know that despite the weather, if you go on that Nordic walk, you will always feel better.”

A brilliant initiative called the “Walking Exchange” was developed by Jacky Carter of Southport u3a. It extends walking from local u3as exploring their immediate vicinity to one where they could travel to other parts of the country, connect with local u3a colleagues, and enjoy group walks in various locations across the UK. This new dimension to walking offers members the opportunity to explore different parts of the country with fellow members who share similar interests and access pre-planned routes and guidance for walks.

In late April, 10 intrepid walkers from Southport (and Marple) u3as made the journey North for the Inverness and Black Isles’ first u3a Walking Exchange.

Francine from Southport u3a said, “Our u3a motto, ‘learn, laugh, and live’ has been perfectly illustrated during our recent walking exchange. We learned a lot about our Inverness hosts’ lovely area when they took us on their special walks; we laughed with them; and we now live a richer life, enhanced by the experience. This is our fourth successful walking exchange, and we can’t wait to experience some more!”

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd