A walking group which has seen a huge rise in membership since the New Year says those who walk with a group are more likely to stick to their keep fit resolutions.
The Stag Walkers organise regular rambles around the county, with many in the Biggleswade area, and say walking is an exercise for people of any age.
The group will be taking a leisurely 7-mile river walk around Henlow on Sunday, February 14. More details on their website.
More than half of people who made a New Year resolution last year failed to keep it, according to a BUPA study of more than 2,000 people, mainly due to a lack of commitment or loss of motivation.
A spokeswoman for the Stag Walkers said: “Often, the gym is seen as the easiest answer to getting more exercise, but many find they don’t really enjoy it or it’s not quite what they thought it would be. You don’t need a gym - walking is a fantastic way to get fit and stay healthy.
“Walking is an exercise for all. It’s easy, free and doesn’t require expensive equipment. It can be done anywhere, anytime and for those with an eye on their vital statistics the health benefits stack up too.”
The group saw a significant increase in people joining them in January, with two walks recording 240% and 248% more walkers respectively than the average walk attendance throughout 2015. The 20s and 30s Ramblers group has recorded an increase of 87.5% in paid membership since January 1.
Ruth Lowe, 32, from Henlow, joined the Stag Walkers last January. She said: “As a child I was a reluctant walker but discovered the joys of the countryside as a teenager when I started my Duke of Edinburgh awards, which required walking and navigation. Now I enjoy getting out in the countryside and am more than happy to take a look at a map and see where it takes me.”
Ruth is a member of a gym but says nothing beats a bit of fresh air and exercise, particularly walking, which is more enjoyable with like-minded people.
She added: ““I do feel that I have become fitter this year. In the past, a knee injury had prevented me from taking on much hill and mountain walking, but in May last year I holidayed in Wales and climbed Mount Snowdon. My fitness had increased to the extent that I found I overtook almost all the people I saw on the walk up.”
Stag Walker’s top tips to fit walking into a daily routine:
Get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way
Park your car further away from the shops than usual
Use part of your lunchbreak to take a 30-minute walk around the block or your local park
Take the family out for a walk in your local park or nature reserve at the weekend
Buddy up with a neighbour or friend to go for a walk together at a regular time
Join a walking group to walk with similar people and discover new areas.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.stagwalkers.org.uk