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Get involved this National Walking Month

May is National Walking Month. Walking for just 30 minutes a day is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall health. Aside from the physical benefits, walking is great for your mental wellbeing.

Going for even a short walk outside can:

  • Improve your mood
  • Reduce stress
  • Manage anxiety
  • Help you sleep better
  • Increase your energy
  • Help you to cope with difficult times
  • Improve your confidence and self-esteem
  • Reduce the risk of depression

​​​​​​​If you would like to try something a bit different to walking around the block, there are a number of opportunities in Cambridgeshire to join a group activity. Below are some ways you can get involved.​​​​​​​

Walking football

Do you live near Bar Hill, Milton or Histon? Why not take a look at these free walking football sessions?

Living Sport are running three walking football clubs targeted at those aged 30+ and are looking for additional participants. The sessions are run in community venues and are delivered by qualified coaches from Cambridge United. There is a focus on wellbeing throughout the programme and the clubs are also linked to NHS funded wellbeing support for all participants if required.

Find more information about walking football.

Walking group at New Shire Hall

The Smart Journeys team and the Wellbeing Group have set up a new walking group for those who work from or near to New Shire Hall. This involves a guided walk around Alconbury Weald, providing the opportunity to get to know the area and other colleagues. Alconbury Weald is a lovely place to take in some fresh air and have some time away from your desk.

The first guided walk will take place on Tuesday 30 May and will be 30 minutes. The group will meet at reception in New Shire Hall at 1:15pm. Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in.

If you would like any help planning and leading a walk at another CCC site, please get in touch with the Smart Journeys team at [email protected].

Walk & Talk 4 Men, St. Neots

Walk and Talk for Men are a support group for men’s mental health. They arrange group walks every month, giving men the opportunity to get some fresh air and have a chat in a safe space with no judgement. The group meets in Little Paxton, St. Neots and is open to any men that would like to join.

CCC colleague and Mental Health First Aider, Barry O’Sullivan has shared his experience:

‘My name is Barry. Regularly attend Andy’s Man Club in Huntingdon on a Monday. I am a firm believer that it is good to talk and get all those frustration and worries off your chest rather than bottling them up. It is also good to know you are not alone. However early in the new year I tried another men’s mental health group. Walk and talk for Men, St Neots. It was part of a family day so maybe not a true reflection of a typical walk where it would just be men. However that said I had various other people come and have a chat with me whilst walking around Paxton Pits.

The group regularly walk around Paxton pits but they do have walks in St Neots itself too.  The weather was relatively mild for January so it was nice to be out exercising and seeing a bit of nature. The act of walking or any kind of exercise is good to lift your mood anyway.  The walk wasn’t too strenuous either, with about an hours’ walk ending with a hot drink at the café.

The walk allowed for more impromptu chats than you might get attending Andy’s Man Club. At AMC we follow a basic structure of 5 questions so not much time for just a chat. Sometimes it is just nice just to have a chat with someone with no agenda or structure behind it. I would definitely recommend Walk and Talk for Men as it was friendly and you knew you could chat to someone if you wanted to get something off your chest.’

You can find further information about Walk and Talk for men on their Facebook page or their website. Alternatively you can email [email protected] or call 07774 732827.

Walk and Talk 4 Women, St. Neots

Also in St. Neots, you can join Walk and Talk 4 Women. This is a weekly walking group that gives women an opportunity to have a chat in a friendly and supportive environment. The group walks usually take place on a Sunday morning at 10:45am. More information can be found on their Facebook page.

Local walking groups

Ramblers Wellbeing Walks run walking groups around Cambridgeshire. The groups are suitable for all fitness levels and accessible routes for wheelchair users are available. All walks are led by a Ramblers Wellbeing Walk leader and all walking routes are tried and tested. Find a walk close to you on the Ramblers website.


By Ruth Walters