National Heart Foundation Walking Manager, Michelle Wilson said romance and fitness do not need to be mutually exclusive, with shared experiences such as walking having overall health benefits while also creating closer relationships and increasing quality time spent with loved ones.
"Walking with your loved one or as part of a group promotes physical and emotional health and wellbeing, while walking on a regular basis has many health benefits - from helping to maintain a healthy weight to lowering blood pressure.
“The simple act of walking for 30 minutes on all or most days of the week can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease– and gradually walking faster, further or for longer only increases the benefit,” Ms Wilson said.
Kevin and Beverley Baddock have been part of Heart Foundation Walking group, Easybeatz in Bairnsdale for nearly 6 years and look forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in March.
“We take a walk with our group members every Tuesday, and this Valentine’s Day will be no exception,” Mr Baddock said.
“The physical and mental health benefits of walking are felt by all of us but the most enjoyable aspect of our walk is the social interaction and company we get from walking together.
“It’s a great way to get the pulse up, and we usually take the opportunity to continue chatting over a coffee after finishing up our walk.”
Heart Foundation Walking is Australia’s largest free national network of community based walking groups. The program has helped more than 80,000 Australians walk their way to better health and an improved quality of life since 1995.
With 1,400 groups around Australia, there’s probably a Heart Foundation Walking group near you. If walking in a group isn’t for you or there isn’t a group in your area, why not join our virtual walking program! Individuals can track their own physical activity and receive tips and tools from the Heart Foundation
Heart Foundation Walking is funded nationally by the Queensland Government with Qantas Assure as a Supporting Partner.
To join a walking group or start one of your own in your area, visit www.heartfoundation.org.au/walking or call 1300 36 27 87 (cost of a local call).