Make A Point of Walking More

Hounslow Council launching six week campaign to get people fit

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Hounslow Council is launching a campaign to get people walking over the next six weeks. And, to give walkers an extra boost the council has teamed up with BetterPoints to provide residents with a unique incentive to get going.

Walking is the perfect exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels and regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. To encourage more Hounslow residents to take to their feet the council has produced a series of downloadable leaflets listing local organised walks and popular park walks.

The link-up with BetterPoints provides great incentives for residents to take part by awarding points for activity. A short half a mile stroll could give you 50 points, but longer walks would give you up to 150. These points can be exchanged for vouchers for well-known retail outlets, such as Marks and Spencers, Halfords or Amazon, or can be donated to local charities or community groups. Walks can be recorded either on a computer or through a simple app on your smartphone – available for Android and iOS.

Geographical technology around Hounslow makes it especially easy to record and claim the rewards. When you log in with your smartphone, every activity is recorded automatically, based on the distance you travel and the speed. You can also ‘check in’ by scanning QR codes at Hounslow parks or leisure centres for extra points. And walk leaders, leisure centre staff and activity organisers across the borough – from yoga instructors to football coaches - can help you record your data.

“Forget faddy diets, forget special clothes, the simplest and cheapest way to improve your health is just to start walking,” says Doctor Parvinder Singh Garcha of the Hounslow Family Practice, who is backing the council’s spring campaign. “But better than all of that, walking is enormous fun, especially if you visit some of Hounslow’s exciting parks and open spaces,” says Parvinder.

To kick-start the campaign, the council is working with local agencies to publicise and organise an expanded programme of organised walks across the borough.
As Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, explains: “We have story walks, heritage walks, wildlife and local history walks - our spring programme has lots of variety and can help you make new friends along the way. The beauty is that if you record your activity with BetterPoints, you can earn great rewards. Residents who sign-up before 22 June will get a 250 point joining bonus too”.

1. Details of the walking programme can be found at
2. Highlights of the walking calendar include:
• Go batty! Try the Bat Walk at Gunnersbury Triangle nature Reserve – 21 May
• Dress up and join the Story Book Stroll, Hanworth Air Park – 29 May
• Beyond beautiful - the Butterfly Walk, Bedfont Lakes – 31 May
• Home in on heritage with Isleworth Riverside Walk – 7 June
• Take the trail from Heath to Heathrow – 00 June
• Shine a light, it’s the Sunset Saunter, Brentford Docks – 10 June
• Visit one of the borough’s hidden gems - Kempton Nature Reserve - 13 June
• Wander the woods - Tree identification walk, Crane Park - 19 June
• For prizes and treasure, try our Geocache challenge – throughout June
• Check out Chiswick Churchyard - 28 June
• Make friends with the Friends of the Parks – events all over the borough

Details of the BetterPoints are available at or download the app from the app store or Google Play

Walking is classed as a moderate-intensity activity and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. If you walk 10,000 steps a day, you will probably do more than 150 minutes and that's great: research suggests that the more activity you do the better.

It may sound a lot, but in reality most people walk about a third of this number each day in any case. And, remember no one expects you to walk the full distance immediately. If you’re not used to it, you should start slowly, and gradually build up to a brisk pace. Taking the extra steps is likely to use between 300 and 400 calories, and if you keep it up you’ll be well on your way to reaching the recommended level of activity for the week.

May 20, 2015