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.

            WHI Logo

The Walks

WHI Logo All are welcome on our cross-country walks. If you are new to Health Walking, it would be advisable to start with one of the shorter, slower walks. However, if you have a disability, or are very unfit, consult your doctor and then start with a First Steps walk.

Each walk has been graded into one of four categories, as follows:

Grade Terrain Fitness level
Level on surfaced footpath Unfit, or recovering from illness or injury. No fast walkers allowed!
     C Fairly level, some 'off road' and gentle hills, no stiles Some level of fitness required, though may be recovering from illness or injury
     B 'Off road' with moderate hills and probability of stiles Fit and able to sustain a speed of 3 miles an hour for 20 minutes or more
     A 'Off road', with steeper hills and likelihood of stiles Fit and able to sustain a speed in excess of 4 miles an hour for 30 minutes or more

Before we walk we warm up and do some simple stretching exercises, to get our muscles prepared for walking. Please remember to arrive in good time to participate in these exercises.

If you are new to Health Walking you will be asked to complete a short Health Questionnaire prior to starting the walk. If you would like to print this off and complete it in advance, please click here.

All walks have a trained volunteer leader at the front and back, who carry a first aid kit and water. Each leader has received training in basic first aid and resuscitation.

Please wear comfortable loose clothing, trainers, walking boots or sturdy flat shoes. As most of our walks take place partly across country footpaths, these can be muddy during wet weather - so please wear shoes/boots that provide an adequate amount of weatherproofing. Please note, wellington boots are not considered suitable as typically they do not provide sufficient grip when walking at speed.

Bring a small bottle of water to drink during and after the walk, especially when the weather is hot.

If you take any medication whilst exercising, eg asthma inhalers, please remember to bring these with you.

Dogs are welcome provided that they are kept on a lead when walking on public roads and are under control when off the lead in open places, particularly where there are livestock (typically cattle, sheep, horses but wild deer may also be seen).
Owners must be aware of their dog at all times, and ensure that the dog does not weave in and out between walkers, and cause someone to trip. If a walk leader feels that a dog is not properly controlled they may ask the owner to control the dog or leave the walk.

Sonnning Common Health Walks and WHI do not accept any responsibility for any incident or damage caused by a dog, and advise owners to take out insurance against accident and third party liability.

The walks take place every day of the year, except for Bank Holidays and two weeks around Christmas & New Year, see timetable for exact dates.