Walking in West Lothian
Many of us know we need to be more active to benefit our health and well being, but not many of us know how easy it is to do this. It doesn't have to be vigorous activity for hours at a time that leaves you dripping with sweat and feeling exhausted. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, is all it takes. And what's more you can break this down in to three 10 minute chunks to make it even more manageable.
What's so great about walking?
Making walking a part of your everyday routine can have a real impact on your health and wellbeing. Walking for a total of just 30 minutes a day can help you to feel good - fitter, more toned and happier. Walking regularly actually gives you more energy - yes really. Try it. People who walk regularly also find that they sleep better and feel less stressed. If that's not enough, regular walking can also help with managing your weight. All in all it's worth giving it a try!
How do I walk more?
There are easy ways that you can make walking part of your routine. You could walk to the local shops or post box and leave the car at home. Maybe you can climb the stairs instead of taking the lift. Or you might be able to leave the car at home and walk the kids to or from school to tally up your 30 minutes. Find a way that works for you. Walking in itself can also be very relaxing ? particularly if you can walk to a local park and enjoy being around nature. You can use www.walkit.com (new window) to find local routes in your area.
How do I get the health benefits from walking?
The most important thing is that when you are walking you feel slightly warmer, feel your heart beating a little faster and feel that you are breathing slightly faster but still able to talk. And talking is important! Walking with friends or in a group can be a lovely way to be active and have a bit of a blether at the same.
What if I don't feel safe walking on my own and have no one to walk with?
At the Put Your West Foot Forward project we think it's much more fun walking in a group. So, we currently have 11 walking groups across West Lothian. These walks are all free, you don't need to book a place - just turn up. The walks are all led by trained walk leaders and the groups are friendly and welcoming.
Where's my local walking group?
The current walk groups meet at the following times:
- Wee walks are no more than 30 mins at relaxed pace with lots of breaks and as few hills as possible. They are perfect for anyone trying walking groups for the first time, recovering from illness or injury or just not sure of how far they can walk.
- Health walks last no more than 60 minutes, everyone can walk at their own pace and volunteers are there to support people with varying abilities.
|Monday||Uphall & Broxburn||2.00pm|
|Friday||Howden||1pm (wee walk)|
The walks meet at different start points to allow them to walk different routes. All of our start points are in the April - June 2013 programme. CLICK HERE to download the programme.
What do I need to wear?
A pair of comfortable shoes is the only equipment you need when you first start walking. As long as they are comfortable and provide good support you shouldn't need to go out and buy something new.
But do dress for the weather. If it's cold plenty of layers means you can take them off if you get warmer when walking. A water proof jacket is useful in wet weather to keep you dry!
I love walking and know lots of walking routes. How can I get involved in leading a walk?
Volunteers are a major part of the Put Your West Foot Forward Project. We're always looking for local people who know local walking routes and want to help others enjoy walking. Do you have a couple of hours a week to spare to become a Health Walk Leader or Health Walk assistant?
For more information on getting involved as a volunteer contact the Health Improvement Team on 01506 775626 or email email@example.com
Can I bring my kids and the dog?
Children are welcome on all of our walks as long as they are accompanied by an adult. At the moment we aren't able to have dogs on our walks but we are looking in to this. We do know of a local group that organises monthly dog walks. More info can be found on http://www.waggywalks.co.uk/Free-Sunday-Walks.html (new window)
I want to know more about the project before I come along
If you have any questions about the walks that we haven't answered here, please contact the Health Improvement Team on 01506 775626 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you want any more information about the groups.
I don't want to join a group but I don't know where to walk. Where can I walk locally?
There are lots of great walking routes across West Lothian. These leaflets and maps with other walks across West Lothian can be found in the Downloadable documents section. (see foot of the page).
You might also like to take a leisurely stroll through one of our Country Parks.
- Almondell & Calderwood Country Park, Nr Broxburn
- Beecraigs Country Park, Nr Linlithgow
- Polkemmet Country Park, Nr Whitburn
...or participate in a guided walk at Beecraigs. The most successful guided walks are the bat, badger and deer walks. However, due to the popularity of these, booking in advance would be advisable.
Full details can be found at www.beecraigs.com (new window)
- Almondell Country Park walking map (PDF, 375KB)
- Autumn Ambles 2012 walking brochure (PDF, 3mb)
- Beecraigs Country Park walking map (PDF, 367KB)
- East Calder walking map (PDF, 234KB)
- Ecclesmachan walking map (PDF, 273KB)
- Fauldhouse walking map (PDF, 294KB)
- Greenrigg walking map (PDF, 172KB)
- Kirknewton walking map (PDF, 177KB)
- Longridge walking map (PDF, 91KB)
- Polkemmet Country Park (PDF, 340KB)
- Put Your West Foot Forward in Bathgate (PDF, 312KB)
- Put Your West Foot Forward in Broxburn (PDF, 1MB)
- Seafield walking map (PDF, 175KB)
- Torphichen walking map (PDF, 181KB)
- West Calder walking map (PDF, 214KB)
- Winchburgh walking map (PDF, 255KB)