|Make A Point of Walking More|
Hounslow Council launching six week campaign to get people fit
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.
Details of the BetterPoints are available at www.betterpoints.uk 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