Try walking

Try Walking

Written by Administrator

Monday, 30 October 2006

I had my mental break down in April 2005 caused by a combination of bad employer management and mid life crisis. I was very ill and was accessed by two different departments at the Maudesley Hospital and 7months after the initial illness I started CBT. (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

Luckily soon after the initial illness I noticed for the first time the health advice in the Doctorís surgery

I had always been physically active cycling an average of 5 miles a day and walking to get to places in my job. The advice given was to try and build up to walking Ω an hour a day. Luckily I live near a park and soon discovered a poster wired around the railings of an organised walk that was to be for Ω an hour. I thought how wonderful that something is organised that ties in with the good advise in the Doctors Surgery. Selfishly I thought to myself, this gives me the enjoyment of having company at the same time as getting some exercise. Even my CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) mentioned walking as one of their suggestions. So I thought what have I got to loose? So I phoned the telephone number on the notice. The walk leader sounded very friendly and efficiently gave me the details of where to meet and the time.

I discovered my local park walk leader was self employed, and seemed to enjoy this voluntary work, which served the community. The people I met on the walks were all very pleasant and it was interesting that it was a varied group of people sometimes coming from other parts of Southwark.

I discovered through the leader that the council organised and train leaders to cover all the parks in Southwark and so I was able to fill my week with a walk at Peckham Rye, Dulwich Park, Southwark Park and sometimes do Bank side and Russia Dock Woodland as alternatives. I did this religiously for the remaining of the year covering all the seasons.

This led me to a new interest of digital photography, as I then was interested in comparing the pictures as the seasons changed. A simple change like this improved my physical health, or at least prevented it from deteriorating and has helped me make new friends who I can now pick up the phone and call. This in all has tremendously built up my confidence (mental wellbeing), and generally helped me trust others and myself.

What could this change do for you?

Go and ask at your Doctors surgery about organised walks or see it on the notice board, or if you have access to a computer enquire at the following-

Email; southwarkwalks@southwark.gov.uk