I am
Walking frenzy hits ACT as 2000 Canberrans step up to join new program
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Walking frenzy hits ACT as 2000 Canberrans step up to join new program

Media Release – 14 July 2021

A walking revolution is gaining momentum in the nation's capital. with Canberrans signing up in droves for a free program that motivates Aussies to get moving.

About 2000 people in the ACT have registered for a Heart Foundation Personal Walking Plan within just a few months of the program’s launch.

The Foundation hopes to recruit more walkers to lift exercise levels in the ACT, where Australian Heart Maps figures show six out of 10 adults are not active enough for good heart health.

Participants in the free, six-week program receive a walking plan tailored to their current activity levels, along with weekly emails and texts to keep them motivated.

Judging by the program’s popularity, the locals love it. As Canberra shivers through another winter, walking enthusiasts aren’t letting the big chill stop them from striding towards a healthier lifestyle, exploring their neighbourhoods and taking photos to share with their growing community.

Calwell resident Ross Skinns was keen to sign up for a Personal Walking Plan and found it helped keep him on track with his walking goals.

“I like a challenge,” Mr Skinns said. “And I liked the Heart Foundation Walking Facebook group, with people sharing their photos and stories.

“It gave me a sense of accountability and achievement, that I had done it and had a record of my walking.”

The retired teacher, who has a family history of heart disease and is on medication for high blood pressure, walks about five times a week and encourages others to give it a go.

"When I walk, I feel better, I sleep better and don't feel so guilty about taking some time on the couch to watch the footy,” he said. “It's just about getting started and making time to do it.”

Heart Foundation ACT Support and Care Senior Coordinator, Meg Ryan, says the influx of new walkers is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

“We’re thrilled to see so many new faces joining the Heart Foundation Walking family and discovering the benefits of this free medicine for your heart and mind,” Ms Ryan said.

"With six in 10 adults here not doing enough physical activity - a key risk factor for heart disease - we're keen to keep this momentum going.

“It’s fun, free and easy – so why not give it a try? Walking for an average of just 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 30 to 40 per cent.

“Over this six-week journey with us, you will also learn about some of the lesser-known benefits of regular walking, such as unwinding at the end of a stressful day; exploring your neighbourhood; becoming stronger and more flexible; and improving your mood.”

The strong uptake of Personal Walking Plans comes as the Heart Foundation calls on the ACT Government to allocate $400,000 over three years in the August state budget to expanding its walking program.

“Walking has a huge role to play in building a healthier, more active ACT and tackling heart disease – Australia’s single biggest killer,” Ms Ryan said.

“Investing in Heart Foundation Walking is a vital opportunity to get more people active, cut rates of chronic disease and improve the physical and mental health of Canberrans.”

To get started with a free Heart Foundation Personal Walking Plan, visit walking.org.au.

There are also 32 Heart Foundation Walking groups in the ACT, giving people the chance to socialise and catch up with other locals for a walk and chat. To find a walking group in your area, visit http://walking.heartfoundation.org.au or call 13 11 12.

Heart Foundation Walking is supported by the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and SportAUS.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

And the heartache lasts a lifetime. But you can help the Heart Foundation fund life-saving research to keep more families together....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Research Directory

Research Directory

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Find heart healthy Italian recipes....

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

A small, battery-powered device that is fitted under the skin of your upper chest....

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals....

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril suffered a heart attack in 2015. Cardiac rehab helped get his life back on track. ...

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

QCVRN provides a framework to strengthen cardiovascular research in Queensland...

Strategic Grants

Strategic Grants

Strategic Grants aim to generate innovative and collaborative research in the areas of identified knowledge gaps or those deemed to be priorities of the Heart Foundation. ...

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Having a mental health condition can have a negative impact on your heart health and increase your risk of heart disease....

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Would you like to improve the cardiovascular health of your patients?...

Ranch dressing

Ranch dressing

Ranch dressing

Serves Makes 1 cup | Serves 6 (2 tablespoons – 40ml)

Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring

Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring

A coronary artery calcium score can be used following a Heart Health Check to estimate your risk of heart attack....

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Check out our recipe categories to find your next heart healthy meal....

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests can measure the levels of substances such as blood fat to show if, and how much of, your heart has been damaged....

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Find heart healthy Asian recipes....

Hot oats – (base recipe)

Hot oats – (base recipe)

Hot oats – (base recipe)

10 minutes
Serves 2 (Makes 2 cups)

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Find heart healthy seafood recipes...

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

For Professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples information and resources

Resources for providing best practice cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Your role as a carer for a heart attack patient is an important one – explore some useful things to know....

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

What are the best sources of protein when it come to your heart health...

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network is the Heart Foundation’s newsletter for health professionals delivered to your inbox once a month....

Tahini tofu dressing

Tahini tofu dressing

Tahini tofu dressing

Nutrition Resources for Practice and Patient Care

Nutrition Resources for Practice and Patient Care

Nutrition Resources for Practice and Patient Care

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Donate to the Heart Foundation

Every dollar that you donate will help fund research, support and programs that help save lives....