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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Links to Complementary Websites

Walking for Health (WFH) is the largest national body promoting and setting the standards for lWalking the way to Health (WHI)ed health walks. It is a joint initiative between Macmillan Cancer Support & Ramblers.
WFH aims to encourage people, particularly those who take little exercise, to do regular short walks in their communities. They support over 600 local health walk schemes. Please visit their website to use the Walkfinder to locate a Health Walking scheme in other areas.

Dr William Bird, a GP at the Sonning Common Health Centre, initiated the Health Walks scheme. ThSonning Common Health Centree Health Centre states "While we inevitably spend much of our time dealing with illness, we lay great stress on prevention and on improving your health. We aim to help to develop a healthy community and have fostered the development of easily accessible exercise schemes such as Health Walks, HealthCycling and the Green Gym. These initiatives have won a national reputation."
Goring Gap Health Walks

Goring Gap Health Walks is another long established health walking scheme, based in Goring (ten miles north-west of Reading). All year they offer four walks / week, with an additional three walks / week during the summer.

The Get Oxfordshire Active (GO Active) project aims to get adults aged over 16 doing moderate exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week.  At present only 23.2% of adults in the county achieve this amount of exercise. This is a three year project which will have £1.4 million pounds invested in it.

Reading Rambling Club is a friendly independent walking club which has been enjoying the local countryside for over 80 years. Our local walks range between three and 12 miles, and we also venture further afield for long days out, weekends away and holidays abroad. We walk on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Our Wednesday Group also walks midweek while our Mountain Section spends long weekends tackling walks in different terrains. In addition, we organise several social events including an annual dinner and two lunches each year.
Anyone who is interested in walking is welcome to join us on up to three walks before becoming a member.

For more information about what is going on in the local parishes please see the Sonning Common Parish Council website.

Walking in Oxfordshire & Walking in Berkshire - free walks to download and print.