Take your first step towards a more active lifestyle

Walkers taking part in the 'walk@parkrun' at Wallace Park, Lisburn. Pic by Declan Roughan
Walkers taking part in the 'walk@parkrun' at Wallace Park, Lisburn. Pic by Declan Roughan

Local people are being encouraged to take that first step towards a more active lifestyle by registering for ‘Walk@parkrun’ events at Wallace Park, Lisburn.

The weekly events are being organised by Outdoor Recreation NI, the ‘Walking in Your Community’ initiative, and Parkrun UK.

Recent years have seen the phenomenal success of local parkruns, with thousands of participants taking part in free timed 5km runs every Saturday morning at locations across Northern Ireland. However, while parkruns have attracted people of all ages and abilities, the organisers of ‘Walk@parkrun’ are keen to encourage even more people to get involved.

The first ‘Walk@parkrun’ event took place in September 2016 at Belfast’s Waterworks Park, following support from Sport Northern Ireland’s National Lottery-funded Active Clubs programme. The success of the event led to organisers setting up another weekly walk at Wallace parkrun in Lisburn, which welcomes dozens of participants each Saturday.

Claire Saunders, Active Clubs Co-ordinator for Outdoor Recreation NI, explains: “Regular walking and other physical activity woven into your daily routine can bring huge benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing, and thanks to the support of National Lottery players, we’re helping more people to enjoy these benefits through ‘Walk@parkrun’.

“Obviously there are the physical benefits of getting active, but there’s also the great social aspect – there is a real sense of fun and community every week.

“Walking in green spaces in particular has been shown to reduce instances of depression and high blood pressure. ‘Walk@parkrun’ is aimed at people of all fitness and experience levels, from mums and dads with prams to older people, to those looking to take a step in the right direction to improve their health and wellbeing. There really is a place for everyone”.

More information on ‘Walk@parkrun’, including any new locations, can be found online at walkinginyourcommmunity.com