Walking is good for your heart and lungs, improving cardiovascular fitness.

You can get major health benefits from relatively mild exercise, as long as you do enough and do it regularly.

Regular walking can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis.

Walking will increase your muscle tone and increase the efficiency of your heart and lungs. It will help reduce cholesterol, boost metabolism, and improve the health of bones. Ease stress, raise your energy levels and improve sleep. Combined this can also help you reduce body fat and lose weight.

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Sonning Common Health Walks Explained

SCHW logo The 'Health Walks' project was set up by Dr William Bird, a GP in the village of Sonning Common in Oxfordshire. The aim of the project was to improve people's fitness, both in body and mind, by encouraging them to use their local countryside for walking. Together with Val Lunn, a local fitness instructor, Dr William Bird promoted the project which has now grown into a very successful scheme that has been adopted nationwide.

Now into our 20th year, Sonning Common has one of the largest number of walks anywhere, with at least one walk every day, most days of the year - see the timetable for details.

The Health Walks are managed by an enthusiastic team of over 31 volunteers, who give up their time freely, in order to promote and encourage improved health through regular walking. We are a very welcoming group, who like to see people of all ages and levels of fitness coming along and trying it out!

In addition, the walks provide a great way of socialising, especially for newcomers to the village, or for those who have stopped / reduced their hours of work.

Each walk has a trained Leader assigned to the front and the back, each of whom carries a first aid kit and water. Each Leader has received training in basic first aid and resuscitation, so you're in safe hands!
We are always keen to welcome those who would like to join our team of volunteer leaders - we will provide free first aid and walk leader training. If you would like to find out more about this, please contact Colin Davies here.

The Walks page provides more information about which type of walk you might want to start with - each walk is graded, and the Timetable page tells you which walks are in which grade, and there's a map to point you to the start point.

It really is as easy as that! But if you have any further questions, please contact us direct. We hope to see you soon on one of our Health Walks!