Time to stride out

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GET walking and get fit. That’s the simple message from health professionals – and they’re urging everyone to support National Walking Day on Sunday, September 25.

They hope the day will act as a springboard for people of all ages to take more exercise.

In Fenland the day will be marked by a special walk in Wisbech, starting at 2pm from the town’s Chapel Road car park. Organised by Fenland District Council in partnership with Mytime Active, it is supported by NHS Cambridgeshire and Walk4Life, part of the national Change4Life campaign. Similar events are being held across the county.

Meanwhile, organised group walks are gaining strength around the district.

Councillor Ralph Butcher, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “Walking is an ideal way of keeping fit. Whether you’re young or old, it’s easy and it’s free – you don’t need any expensive equipment and it doesn’t have to take up much time.

“You can fit it into your normal daily life – walking to work or to school, for example – and you can do it on your own or with your family or friends.”

Walking is one simple way of reducing the risk of many chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer of the colon, according to Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire.

She said: “Walking has been described as the near-perfect exercise. Even walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes each day is enough to provide substantial health benefits. And you don’t have to do this all at once: you can build that 30 minutes a day by being active in short bursts, and invite others to walk with you.”

Research published recently suggested that even 15 minutes of moderate exercise such as brisk walking per day can add three years to your life.

• For more information about the walk in Wisbech on September 25, call Sam Darlow of FDC, on 01354 654321 or e-mail sportsdevelopment@fenland.gov.uk, or contact Fiona Poignand on 07775 532285 (e-mail: Fiona.poignand@mytimeactive.org.uk)