Poeple are being invited to walk their way to fitness on the Axe Estuary Wetlands

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People are being invited to boost their fitness on the Axe Estuary Wetlands.

The ‘Walk this Way’ scheme, first introduced in East Devon some 12 years ago, is coming to the nature reserve, near Seaton, next month.

It aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities, including those with health and mobility problems, to change their lifestyle.

All the walks, which begin on February 7, will be led by qualified volunteer walk leaders who have undergone the ‘National Walking the Way to Health’ training as well as receiving training in first aid resuscitation. The walk routes will be kept short so that they can easily be fitted into a daily routine.

The initiative run is being ruin by Leisure East Devon(LED) in partnership with NHS Devon, Seaton and Colyton Medical Practice (working with Townsend House surgery) and East Devon District Council’s Countryside team.

A spokesman said: “It’s a known fact that people in general take less exercise now than ever before, and obesity levels and related health problems are on the increase. More than 60 per cent of adults in England are overweight or obese, and the problem currently costs the NHS £5.1 billion annually.

“The post-Christmas period is a time when many turn their thoughts towards improving their wellbeing, and what better opportunity to enjoy a new fitness regime than joining other like minded people for an invigorating walk in a stunning landscape.

“Exercise doesn’t have to be painful, and it can even be fun. Routes around the Axe Estuary Wetlands are easy, flat and level with a high-grade surface.”

Walk co-ordinator Andrew Dare said: “The walks are aimed at people who are doing very little or no exercise at present, but who would like to become more active. However, everyone is welcome.

Dr Joe Kent, from Seaton and Colyton Medical Practice, said: “For many people, going for a regular brisk walk can be a great way to increase physical activity levels, gain enhanced physical and psychological health benefits and improve the way you feel about your life.

“This scheme offers the added benefit of meeting up with others and exploring some of the most beautiful areas of our community.”

To take part in the first walk, on February 7, people should be at the Axe Estuary Wetlands car park, next to Seaton Cemetery, at 10.15 am for 10.30 am start.

Walks are free of charge, and refreshments will be available at the end. For more information contact Andrew Dare on 01404 814 317 or outreach@ledleisure.co.uk

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