- coronary heart disease by 20-35%
- type 2 diabetes by 20-35%
- colon cancer by 30-50%
- breast cancer by 20%
- hip fracture by 36-68%
- depression by 20-30%
- alzheimer's by 60%
In fact, a former Chief Medical Officer of England said, If a medication existed which had a similar effect to physical activity, it would be regarded as a 'wonder drug' or a 'miracle cure'.
- Location - walks are available in towns, city centres and villages throughout the country. The Walking for Health website will show the walks that are available in your local area. They all start and finish near car parking and on a public transport route.
- Timing - Walks are held at different times on different days of the week including weekends. The lengths of the walks differ too.
- Cost - Health Walks are free. As they are local it shouldn't cost much (if anything at all) to get to the start and finish point.
- Ability - some walks are only a mile long and last just half an hour. Others are 3-4 miles in length and last 2-3 hours. All are on relatively easy terrain.
So far, I've really enjoyed the walks I've taken part in. Although not challenging, they haven't been as short or slow as I originally expected, though I have only done the longer ones which appeal to the slightly fitter walkers. Over the next few weeks I have to shadow a current Health Walks leader and then lead a walk of my own. After that I'll be let loose to help England get fitter!