Walk and talk for wellbeing on World Mental Health Day

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Bristol's Milestones Trust to host walking event at the Harbourside

A Bristol-based mental health charity is calling on people in the city to join a special harbourside walk on Tuesday, October 10 as part of World Mental Health Day.

‘Walk the Talk' is for anyone who would like to enjoy some gentle exercise, meet new people and have conversations about mental health and wellbeing.

The charity is encouraging people to walk more to help improve mental as well as physical health and this event is designed to help people to take the time to talk while enjoying the benefits of gentle exercise.

Tony Swanborough, mental health area manager at Milestones Trust, said: "The effects of walking on one's state of mind is profound. It helps release endorphins which perk up the mind and create a feeling of contentment. It also helps reduce the body's feelings associated with stress and worry.

"Walking with a group is particularly good as it helps overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness and it provides a safe forum to share thoughts and experiences.

"One in four of us will suffer from a mental health difficulty in our lives. Mental health is something we all need to be aware of and look after, in the same way we need to keep our bodies fit and healthy. Walking is a free, easily accessible activity which has a positive effect on our mood, quality of sleep and has even been proved to help improve reasoning and intellectual performance."

The walking event starts at 11am outside the entrance to M Shed and the group will walk around Bristol's harbourside before gathering back at the M Shed cafe for refreshments and an opportunity to get to know each other better and share experiences. The event finishes at 12.30pm. Anyone interested in participating can just turn up on the day.

Tony added: "On World Mental Health Day, this event will be a powerful and visual way of raising awareness of mental health and encouraging people to think about simple ways they can support their own sense of wellbeing."

The physical benefits of walking are also compelling. A regular walking routine slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 per cent and it reduces the chances of developing cancer of the colon, breast or womb by 20 per cent.

Older people who walk at least six miles per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass. Of course walking also helps people to lose weight. Walking for 30 minutes at two miles per hour (mph) burns around 75 calories, while four mph burns 150 calories.

Tony said: "Everyone is welcome to join us for our Walk the Talk event. We hope many people will vote with their feet and come along to enjoy the simple pleasure of walking and talking together."

Milestones Trust supports people with mental health challenges, dementia and learning disabilities. It runs 44 residential and nursing care homes across the South West, with 25 in Bristol. For more information, visit www.milestonestrust.org.uk

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