Walking is a great way to improve physical health and mental health, I know if I’m feeling the blues that a brisk walk on the coastal path with my little dog is the best way to blow away my worries. Life always seems better when I’m stretching my muscles, feeling the wind on my face and watching the sea and the birds. It’s a real tonic for the soul. Even better is getting out with others who love the outdoors and then walking becomes a social activity as well. Throw in a stop at a little coastal café or a country pub and you have the recipe for health and wellbeing.
A great way to challenge yourself and meet other walkers is to join a group. The Ramblers has been around for a long time, but now there is another great way to find a walking group in your area, or if you can’t find one then you can start one.
David Edmonds moved to Marazion two years ago for a complete lifestyle change following a harrowing period battling cancer. He got a Labrador puppy and wanted to get out walking to regain his strength and feel better. He used to run a walking group in Dartmoor and found The Ramblers was not a good fit for him as a lot of the walks prohibit dogs. So he started his own walking group using a website called Meetup. ”I didn’t know many people in Cornwall and had joined a book group but wanted to find people to join me on long walks at the weekend so I decided to see if I could start a walking group and someone told me about Meetup,” David says.
One year later and the West Penwith walking group is going strong and many members have commented on how much it has improved their lives. Group members now meet socially as well for a meal or a film and new friendships have been formed. Kate is a new member and says it has changed her life completely. “I needed to get fit and challenge myself and walking in a group means I walk much further than I would just going out on my own, plus I have made lots of new friends.”
Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. Meetup has 24 million members with over 200,000 groups in 180 countries, so get online and find a local group today or if you can’t find one start one.
On a recent walk this November the group walked 9 miles along St Michael’s Way from Marazion on the south coast to St Ives on the North Coast then got the bus back to Marazion for a post walk drink and to watch the murmuration of Starlings on Marazion March. The end to a perfect day walking and socialising in the most beautiful place in the world – Cornwall!