Sheila lives in Cardiff and enjoys walking. Last year she took part in the Walking Friends Wales project which helps people over 50 stay active. Here she tells us how the walks benefitted her physical and mental health.
Walking with the group in Ely made me feel so much happier and healthier. My stamina is much better, and I can walk more than I did. I’m also noticing more things as I walk than I used to, because we talk about the things we see on our walks; I’m more aware of the trees and beautiful flowers rather than just walking from A to B. Walking's not a chore; it’s a joy! I feel happier now as well, being part of the group.
Another benefit to joining the group is that I met lots of interesting people who have become good friends. One of the ladies, Pauline, we have really hit it off, and have become friends and we’re still keeping in touch while we’re in lockdown.
As well as being fitter, I feel more alert and I really look forward to walking when I get a chance to get out.
Walking has a positive impact on our lives, be it mental, physical or social, and despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic, Walking Friends Wales can help people over 50 build up confidence and strength to start walking, make new connections and voice the need for changes to their local walking environment.
Walking Friends Wales is funded by the Healthy & Active Fund, a partnership between Welsh Government, Sport Wales and Public Health Wales. Find out more.
What can older people do this National Walking Month to keep walking, keep active and keep well?
UK lockdown rules still allow for us to leave the house once a day for exercise.