Harrow Health Walks
Update 25th March 2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus
Staying active outside - provided you do not get close to other people is something that will keep you healthier and keep your spirits up!
To keep healthy you need to do 20-30 minutes moderate exercise a day – plus, you should aim to do strengthening and balance exercises at least 2 days a week. Keeping healthy has never been so important and even doing a 10 minute session improves your health and makes you more able to fight illness
Please see the current advice on social distancing which applies to everyone - you can still go for a stroll outside on your own or with people from your household, as this will improve your wellbeing and provide you with exercise. In fact, staying physically fit is recommended to improve your overall health and immune system. You should stay 2 meters away from any other people that you pass.
If you have a long term condition, are pregnant and/or are 70+ or someone in your household has a cough or temperature and you so are advised to abide by self-isolation, you can still keep active inside or in your garden. Tai chi or yoga inside or in your garden or gardening are great ways to feel good.
There are many online sessions you can access and here is a link to a useful for list of options https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home and some people are also using the social media hashtag #StayInWorkOut
If you are at home with your children there are some great PE exercises to try out to keep active in the day. You will find everyone’s mood improves with an activity break- https://www.youthsporttrust.org/free-home-learning-resources-0
Some sports clubs in Harrow are also posting online events for people to keep active on the council website at https://www.harrow.gov.uk/events
If you do go out for a walk, run or cycle please follow the following advice:
- Anyone who is unwell should return home immediately. If you have a new and persistent cough and/or fever symptoms and need more advice please go to 111.nhs.uk
- If you go out stay a good distance (about 2 metres – the length of a broom) from anyone else you pass
- Wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds afterward and avoid touching your face
- Do not use public transport to travel to a place where you intend to walk.
- If you see a lot of people gathering where you would like to walk, change your route to avoid them.
We encourage you to work together with your families, neighbours and friends to offer support at this challenging time – using online and digital ways to communicate with people especially if they are on their own is a really helpful way to stay connected and check people are ok. In such unprecedented circumstances it can make you anxious and lonely so please do stay in touch with your networks to look after each other.
We look forward to seeing you again when the walking for health programme resumes.
Harrow Health Walks Team
Harrow Health Walks are FREE and provide local residents with an opportunity to walk regularly in a relaxed and friendly environment and enjoy some beautiful green spaces. The walks are led by qualified and insured volunteer walk leaders, who encourage you to walk at your own pace. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age and fitness level. Around 300 people every month are already walking their way to health in Harrow - join them for a leisurely and social walk around Harrow's wonderful green spaces. Walking for Health is a great way to meet new like minded people and explore your local area without having to worry about getting lost or having to plan your route!
With no need to book in advance you can just turn up on the day. You can attend as many walks as you want and all you need are some comfy shoes - they don't have to be walking boots.
|Walk name||Route options available||Length (hours)|
Our walks vary in length and difficulty:
Easy: No gradients, even ground, shorter walks
Moderate: Some slight gradients but mostly even ground. Around 1 hour walks.
Moderate-to-difficult: These walks will include some inclined ground
Difficult: Will have inclines and the route may go through rough ground. The walks are usually longer.
Walks may or may not go ahead during bank holidays. It is best to check with the walk leaders about this or check the calendar on our scheme page a few days before the walk to ensure the walk is going ahead.
Walks usually go ahead come rain or shine. However when there is severe weather such as snowy, icy conditions, walk leaders wil cancel walks for health and safety reasons.
Further information about the walks
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about the walks. Information about walks in leaflet format can be found on our scheme walks page in the "Downloads" box.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for us, right? But not everyone relishes the thought of actually doing something to make us healthier. Well here's a message for you... You already do some basic exercise pretty much every day of your life! And that exercise is walking. So, why not make the time to do just a little bit more and on a regular basis and see what a difference it can make to your life. Here are a series of links from well respected sources about the benefits of walking. Enjoy the read then resolve to put on your shoes and get walking.
Things you can do to prepare for your first walk
Before you walk...
- Consult your GP before attending a walk if you have any concerns about your ability to exercise
- Simply select a walk and turn up, there's no need to book ahead if you don't want to
- Arrive at the meeting point 10 mins before the start of the walk. If it's your first ever walk with the Harrow walking scheme you will need to complete a brief health questionnaire. The walk leader has blank questionnaires for you to complete on the day or you can download the questionnaire by clicking here and then complete it at home and bring it along to your first walk.
Remember we walk all year round and in all weathers (except when it's expected to be very icy underfoot) so:
- Bring along any medication that you may need during the walk, e.g. glucose/sweet, asthma inhaler, GTN spray/tablets
- Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for the weather - layered and waterproof clothing in cooler and wetter conditions
- Wear comfortable and appropriate footwear - shoes with good grip and waterproof if wet, muddy or snowy
- Bring water, especially in warm weather, and a snack (biscuit, banana, glucose/sweet or similar) for longer walks.
Worried about the speed/length of the walks?
If you are worried about the speed of the walks and think that they may be too fast for you, there are usually more than one Volunteer Walk Leaders - with one of them acting as a 'back marker'. This means that you will never get left behind, as the back marker will never walk faster than the last walker. If you are still a bit nervous about attending, then choose one of the shorter walks marked "Easy". Alternatively, if you are concened that the walks may be too slow for you, we try to cater for all by ensuring that there are enough Volunteer Walk Leaders should there be a group that wants to break away from the main group of walkers.
Other ways to get active
If you're interested in other ways to get fit in Harrow, visit the Harrow Get Active portal.