Hundreds of people from across Worcestershire are walking themselves into good health during May for National Walking Month.
There are close to 30 walking groups up and down the county. The walks are led by a network of over 200 volunteers, providing people with the opportunity to start getting active and become healthier and happier.
They are aimed at improving the county's health and wellbeing by encouraging more people to become physically active through the simplest form of exercise.
The walks are short and over easy terrain and are open to everyone, but especially aimed at those who are least active.
Worcestershire County Councillor John Smith, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Health and Wellbeing, and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: "Our walking groups are popular with hundreds of people across the county, particularly older people. They are an effective way of ensuring that participants can lead an active life and live independently for longer.
"As well as improving physical health, walking can help relieve stress, and the group element also provides a great social occasion for people to get together. I would encourage as many people as possible to look up their closest group and get involved, they can find out more on the County Council website".
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. Just increasing your physical activity to 150 minutes a week will bring significant health benefit. Taking part in a brisk 30-minute health walk is a great way to work towards the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise for adults.
Dr Frances Howie, Director of Public Health from Worcestershire County Council, said: "Getting more active is a really effective way to improve health. It will improve mental health and well-being as well as physical health. We are lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers leading walks in our beautiful county. I would really encourage people who have not been on a health walk yet to find out more and get involved, and I would encourage those who are already involved to consider becoming volunteers and lead a walk".
To find out more about Health Walks, and to find your nearest group, go to www.worcestershire.gov.uk and search for 'Health Walks'.
Walking for Health is a national programme by The Ramblers supported through the People's Postcode Lottery and Macmillan.