Familiar Chat Back Issues-October 2014

WHO? If you are interested in learning about birds, you are welcome! WHAT? We walk slowly for a couple of kilometres and look for birds. You need binoculars, a bird ID book is useful. A vehicle which can deal with bumpy, overgrown tracks is useful, but not essential. However - don’t set off without folding chairs and the makings of a picnic. WHEN and WHERE? The 1st Sunday and the 3rd Saturday of the month at 6.30am meeting on the Molapo Crossing Car Park. The Sunday walks are permanent fixtures as demand is high. The Saturday programme, for beginners only, is a recent addition and depends on the level of interest. Check the website for details. WHY? “Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster. Findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions but may also contribute a nonpharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.” Researchers evaluated 1,991 participants from the Walking for Health program in England, which helps facilitate nearly 3,000 weekly walks and draws more than 70,000 regular walkers a year. “Given the increase in mental ill health and physical inactivity in the developed world, we are constantly exploring new, accessible ways to help people improve their long term quality of life and well-being,” “Group walks in local natural environments may make a potentially important contribution to public health and be beneficial in helping people cope with stress and experience improved emotions.

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