A Step in the Right Direction for Heart Health
Moreton Bay Regional Council is encouraging residents to put their best foot forward and sign up as a Walk Organiser to run Heart Foundation Walking Groups within the region.
Lifestyle and Amenity Spokesperson Councillor Denise Sims said council was looking for volunteers to organise walking groups at the region’s environmental centres Caboolture Regional Environmental Education Centre, Burpengary, Kumbartcho Sanctuary, Eatons Hill and Osprey House at Griffin.
“I moved to the Moreton Bay Region because I fell in love with our pristine environment so why not make the most of our region’s natural beauty and be part of an amazing group to promote healthy active living among our residents,” Cr Sims said.
“The best part of being a volunteer walk organiser, is that it gives you the freedom to deliver the walk at a time and day that suits you and people of all ages are encouraged to join in to experience our region’s beautiful walking tracks.”
“If you love our beautiful environment and have a passion for walking and socialising, then I would encourage you to sign up as a volunteer to run a group; the health benefits of walking are second to none.”
Heart Foundation Walking State Coordinator, Anna Campbell said Walk Organisers play a key role in motivating and supporting others to become more active on a regular basis.
“Walk Organisers form the backbone of the Heart Foundation Walking program. It is our Walk Organisers who have supported so many Queenslanders to stay active and take better care of their heart health,” Ms Campbell said.
Ms Campbell said that being active is one of the most important ways people can improve their health and wellbeing, but approximately two million Queenslanders or 59% aged 18 years and over, are not active enough, missing out on the health benefits of exercise.
“As a volunteer Walk Organiser, you’ll not only be acting as a catalyst for change in your local community by supporting people to better health through walking, you’ll also benefit from meeting new people, making new social connections and developing new skills.”
The Heart Foundation’s chief medical adviser, cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings, said, walking improved risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
“What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain - walking helps stave off the decline in memory, planning and thinking skills that can occur with ageing, and reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Even cancer rates are lower in people who are physically active,” Mr Jennings said.
“Physical inactivity increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke by up to 30 per cent and shortens lifespan by up to five years. However simply walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by a third and illnesses such as dementia, by as much as 50 per cent.”
As a Heart Foundation Walk Organiser you’ll be provided with training and support from a local coordinator in your area who will help you to promote your group, and keep it organised and motivated.
For more information on how to become a volunteer you can email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or call council on 3205 0555.
For more information about the Heart Foundation’s Walking Group visit http://walking.heartfoundation.org.au/walking/start-your-own-group
About Heart Foundation Walking
Heart Foundation Walking is Australia’s largest free walking network. Over the past 22 years, more than 85,000 Australians have enjoyed the benefits of being part of a Heart Foundation Walking group. For more information, you can also visit walking.heartfoundation.org.au
Image: Councillor Denise Sims with Mick Pausey from Narangba Walkers along with Renee (far left) and Cora Crutcher; Tiffany Theo, Savannah and Layla Elliott; Renee, Mahlia and Indiana Gibson enjoying a morning walk at the Caboolture Regional Environmental Education Centre.