Walking for physical and mental wellbeing at Calderdale and Kirklees Recovery College

The walking group started about seven or eight years ago, and it’s led by the ideas of the group –
what they want to do, not what I want to do. I call it the ‘Walkerteers’. ‘All for one and…’ you know, the old Three Musketeers thing –
‘All for One and One for All’. Well there’s ten of us all together. We’re a bit more than the walking group now. More like friends now, we’ve got to know each other that well. I started doing it because I suffered
from anxiety and depression. And I found that the walking
actually alleviated that. Instead of focusing on yourself
– because depression and anxiety, it’s like over focusing on any little problems you’ve got. It stopped that because I started to appreciate
the surroundings and my fellow walkers. People being more active is not only helpful for their physical health, but also their mental health. And research told us that just after ten
minutes of being outside and walking your mood would lift and we thought
there was something in that. So we started the ‘Dales Challenge’
where we got people out every week, building up to a challenge after ten weeks
in the Yorkshire Dales, at a place called Gearstones. And we found that some people were just doing
something like six hundred steps a day, which is a very, very small amount of activity
– they’re probably just staying in their own homes. But after the ‘Dales Challenge’ they
started to do a lot more. It’s also about getting out of that four-walled room,
house or whatever it is, and socializing with people who
have had similar problems. Before this I didn’t talk to many people. Since I’ve got with the walking group
– got used to talking to them, and it’s helped me a lot with my nerves. It’s helped me get, what I call, back to normal. What we found was that they really bonded as a group
and they wanted to stay together. So they started organizing themselves
not only to meet every week, and to start meeting in different places, but to go off for the weekend and walk
along the East Coast, for example. They’ve all got the same goals in mind –
they want to get out, they want to meet people, they want to feel better about themselves,
and physical activity is a really good tool for doing that. And if you want to join our group, you just phone me, Russell, or get in touch with Matt Ellis who will give you my phone number. Okay? Thank you very much!

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