Christine’s Story

The benefits gained from our Walking group

My name is Christine and I would like to share the huge benefits that myself and the other 3 members of our walking group have gained over the past year since first meeting and then maintaining our weekly meetups and trips outdoors.

We are all aware of the positive impact of exercise on our mental wellbeing, but initiating the first steps (literally) either outside, or in a gym, can be daunting especially if we are suffering from anxiety/depression or other mental health disorder. Surely it would be more sustainable if we had the mutual support and company of other like- minded individuals who also experienced imbalances in their mental health.

With this in mind, I approached Hull and East Yorkshire Mind with the idea of establishing a group of people who might be interested, from there, the 4 of us came together and the rest is history.

Initially we met up in Hull Trinity square and our weekly walks included touring the museums, and rediscovering the beauty and history of the Old Town. Afterwards we would treat ourselves to a coffee and chat.

Over a very short time we all bonded and became firm friends as well as mutually supportive confidantes. All four of us experience issues with our fluctuating mental health, but essentially we all feel comfortable in sharing our feelings, and always know that we will be supported and feel safe. I can honestly say that we have developed the perfect mix of being serious and supportive, balanced with many hilarious and heart- warming moments.

Through being outdoors we have all enjoyed the benefits of mindfulness (appreciating the present moment). Even when our short walks have been town centred, we can still appreciate the beauty in ornate buildings with their fancy chimney pots.

After several weeks of doing town centred walks we decided to branch a little further afield and with the aid of my trusty car we have travelled, walked and taken coffee and lunch in numerous locations. Our ventures have included seaside, Parks, villages, churches, stately homes, garden centres to name but a few.

Many readers might think well its alright for you Christine because you’re fully mobile, so I must add that two of our members have limited mobility due to physical disabilities. However, even short walks in the fresh air balanced with rest stops has improved their overall health, and well- being. Also one cannot underestimate the social benefits of a small group of like- minded individuals, and it has been proven that a good giggle is equivalent to exercise and releases lots of feel good hormones, so what’s stopping you.