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Make winter walking a group activity

Fresh air, exercise and good company are just some of the benefits of being in a walking group for Mary Smith.

Mary leads the Heart Foundation walking group that meets regularly at Glandore Community Centre. We asked her how the group helps her to stay motivated for walking in the winter months.

Mary says the fact that she has made a commitment to the group is one of the keys for motivation.

"If you commit to walking regularly, it means you look forward to it and you don't let yourself or others down. If you commit, you can do it."

Mary’s walking group heads out twice a week – Tuesdays and Fridays - and can be a small group or up to 20 people. Their walks are varied and distances can depend on the weather. They might walk around the local neighbourhood or go as far as Glenelg for coffee with a tram ride back.

Mary says the group provides an opportunity to meet new people, socialise or even provides a ‘listening board’ for someone who needs it.

‘It provides an opportunity to socialise with others who are like minded. Once a month, those from the group who can stay after walking, enjoy a cuppa and a chat together,’ Mary says.

Maybe you’re thinking it’s just too cold to leave the house in winter? Mary says it’s all a matter of being prepared.

"It's easy to find an excuse or procrastinate because it's too cold or it's raining but if you rug up with a beanie, raincoat, brolly, you can feel quite invigorated after a brisk walk! And if you dress with layers of clothing, it's easy to peel off as you warm up."

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