Walking back to health by Hemel’s canal

Nordic walkers on the canal towpath
Nordic walkers on the canal towpath

A local Nordic walking group is using Hemel’s canal towpath as a way to keep fit and help people walk themselves back to health.

The weekly sessions, run by occupational therapist Jacqueline Smith and supported by the Canal & River Trust, involve walking up to six miles along the canal towpath.

The group meets three times a week and is open to anyone who wants to give it a try.

Recent research by the Canal & River Trust shows that being outside next to water is good for you.

Tav Kazmi, deputy regional director of the Canal & River Trust, said: “Our waterways are perfect places to unwind and to forget about the stresses of daily life and the antidote we sometimes need in our fast-paced lives.

“The Nordic walking group is an ideal activity to try if you’re looking for something to get you away from the computer screens and outside enjoying some fresh air.

“As our canals are generally flat, they are perfect for beginners or those just want a gentler approach to exercise, and with 2,000 miles to discover you can pretty much go anywhere in the country.”

Walk leader Jacqueline said: “Anyone is welcome to come and join us for our walks – they are energetic, great fun and you get to make lots of new friends.

“Being active is not only good for our bodies but it’s also great for our minds.

“It helps improve our happiness and self-esteem and exercising next to water not only improves our mental health it’s also just a lovely place to be.”

Each walk costs from £5 to £8 per person.

To find out more or to join Jacqueline’s Nordic walking group, visit hemelnordicwalking.co.uk