National Walking Month - May 2023
May is National Walking Month, so there's never been a better time to share all the opportunities to get active outdoors in South Ayrshire.
When you go for a walk outside, you get a chance to see all of the beautiful scenery South Ayrshire has to offer - from award winning beaches to tranquil secluded walking trails. In addition to this, you're taking steps towards a more positive lifestyle!
A simple 30-minute walk per day can lead to health benefits such as:
· enhancement of cardiovascular (lungs and heart) fitness
· increase bone density
· improve balance and proprioception
· increased muscle power.
· building on endurance
Not to mention the positive impact walking can have on your mental health and wellbeing.
There can also be social benefits to walking - especially when you join a walking group! Across South Ayrshire there are walking groups for all levels that are free and guided by a trained walk leader. So, why not start by coming along to one of our Health Walks?
What are the benefits of joining a walking group?
South Ayrshire's group walks are:
· usually between 30 and 90 minutes in length
· easily accessible for all levels of ability and fitness, with walks varying in length and difficulty to cater to all
· particularly beneficial to those who may be socially isolated, living with a long-term health condition or disability, or looking to improve their overall fitness level
· an opportunity to explore new routes you wouldn't have discovered on your own
· a great source of motivation
· a way to meet new people and have a good chat!
Wednesday Wanderers are a community partnership walking group with Vics in the Community and the Ayr North Community Sports Hub.
The group currently meets every Wednesday at 9:30am. If required, members of the group are provided with a breakfast by Vics in the Community, then the walk begins around 10am.
Wednesday Wanderers provides a safe and friendly environment for members, welcoming everyone to join them for a weekly walk. A focus on mental wellbeing is an important aspect of these walks.
Wednesday Evening Health Walks
Wednesday Evening Health Walks last around 60 mins and are held fortnightly. Members meet at Ayr Seafront, beside Pirate Pete's at 6:30pm.
The walks are easy going and are aimed at those looking to get back into walking or build their fitness.
Sunday Afternoon Walks
Sunday Afternoon Walks usually last around 90 minutes, with walkers meeting monthly at 1pm.
These walks are a step up in difficulty, as they are longer and sometimes on trails and rougher/muddy ground - but they are still suitable for most people. This is a good option if you're looking to level up from the health walks.
The starting points vary as the group visits lots of different routes around South Ayrshire. Details are always advertised on the Active Travel Hub website www.activetravelhubsayrshire.org . You can book on to each walk here -www.bit/ly/ATHwalks - or contact 07970 709925 or email@example.com
You can also join the Active Travel Hub mailing list to stay up to date http://eepurl.com/c0HoAf
The Ayr Strollers walking group meets at Ayr United football club on a Tuesday at 10:30 am. They are a busy group who sometimes also enjoy some walking football around the stadium.
Eric, a retired head teacher at St Ninian's school in Glasgow, is one of the trained walk leaders at Ayr Strollers. He adds fantastic value to the walks by delivering quizzes along route, information on local history and much more.
Ayr Sensory Walk
Ayr Sensory Walk meets every Tuesday at the Horizon Hotel in Ayr at 10:30 am. Walkers can enjoy a stunning walk with views of Arran and the shore front before turning to walk back through Low Green. This health walk is open to all and is sensory impairment friendly. After a walk and a chat, the group enjoy a cup of soup at the finish line which is home made by one of the volunteers.
May, one of the members of the group, said: "I lost my hearing years back. I feel safer with people in the same situation as they understand what it's like to walk, turn and lip read when chatting."
For a full list of our South Ayrshire health walks, visit https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/healthwalkssouthayrshire
If your community or group could benefit from more info on being a Health Walk provider please get in touch with Lindsay Johnson, the health walk development officer for South Ayrshire - Lindsay.Johnson@south-ayrshire.gov.uk
We are always looking for volunteers to support existing health walks and we are delighted to support the setup of new Health Walk groups.