Put a Spring in your step for the last week of the Swindon Walking Festival which got underway on 14 May and runs until 25 May.
There have been walks for all ages and abilities giving participants a great way to get some exercise in the fresh air, and discover Swindon’s many beauty spots and wildlife.
Walks, many of which are led by volunteers, range from two to five miles and are being held in urban and rural locations. Find out full details on the website www.challengeswindon.org.uk
On Monday 21 May Swindon Link publisher Roger Ogle is leading a walking tour of the public scultures dotted around West Swindon including John Clinch’s 1991 sculpture Diana Dors at Shaw Ridge Village Centre, Hideo Furuta’s enigmatic Nexus (1986), above, at Freshbrook Village Centre and Tim Sandys-Renton’s 1989 mysterious How the Mighty are Fallen centre.
Julie Livesey’s 1987 White Horse Pacified was visited by a walking group in 2004, below.
Walk to School Week takes place between May 21 and May 25 with schools promoting safe walking. On Wednesday, May 23, five local primary schools will be walking on parade from the Cenotaph to the Big Screen, Wharf Green as part of the Olympic Torch Relay festivities.
Walking is a great way to get into the habit of taking regular exercise. In this historic year when the 2012 Olympics come in London, now is the ideal time to be inspired and get striding. Suitable for all ages, abilities and fitness levels, it’s an activity which can also help reduce the risk of developing serious conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Walking has certainly helped Trevor Day get back in the swing of things after he suffered a heart attack in January. Trevor, aged 61, from Sparcells, joins the weekly Haydon Health Walk on Thursdays and is a big fan. He said: “I was introduced to the walk as part of my cardiac rehab and it has been a great way to build my confidence and fitness back up. I’ve always enjoyed walking because it’s very social – everyone gets talking and you make new friends.
“The range of abilities in the group, which is run by volunteers, varies and everyone supports each other so you can stretch yourself or take it easier. Walking works wonders for the body and soul – I would highly recommend it to everyone.”
For more information on the events, leaflets are available at local libraries or call: (01793) 465413.
Did you know?
• Walking is a good way to help manage your weight – walking a mile (for 20 – 30 mins depending on your pace) can burn around 100 calories.
• Nearly 100 staff from local companies have also signed up for the Global Corporate Challenge, which will see employees clocking up around-the-world walking miles in teams.
• Free pedometers are available at some of the walks during the festival.