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Walk your way to fitness

WALKFIT group Finsbury Park.

A fun combination of walking and other exercises, WalkFit is expanding to more parks in London. Margaret Nicholls tries a change of pace…

The popularity of walking has soared in London, which is not surprising when you realise how good it is for your health. Among other benefits, it strengthens your heart, lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer and boosts your mood.

This month British Military Fitness is expanding its programme of WalkFit classes, which combine the benefits of walking with the fun and sociable aspects of exercising as a group.

Founder and managing director of British Military Fitness Harry Sowerby says that the move is in response to requests for gentler, lower impact exercise groups.

He explains: ‘We’ve had a great response to WalkFit. It’s suitable for anyone who wants to be more active, whatever their fitness level. We have beginners, runners coming back from injury and older people who want to exercise more.’

It’s suitable for anyone who wants to be more active, whatever their fitness level

WalkFit has been expanded to run across more parks in London, and locations now include Dulwich Park, Finsbury Park, Bushy Park and Nonsuch Park in Cheam.

A keen walker myself and intrigued to try it out, I slipped on my trainers and headed over to Finsbury Park one Saturday morning. The group was a mixture of ages and fitness levels, and our instructor Jel got everyone laughing and chatting within a few minutes.

The hour-long session consisted of bouts of brisk walking interspersed with bodyweight exercises. From standing push-ups against a fence, to star jumps and gentle squats, all were adapted to suit individual abilities.

WalkFit Finsbury Park

Like the core British Military Fitness sessions, the groups are led by trained military instructors. For anyone who’s not familiar with them, their style is warm, friendly and very funny. And our instructor Jel was no exception, joking along with the group and making sure everyone was enjoying themselves.

The activities got the blood flowing and the muscles working but the best thing was the great atmosphere of the group. Everyone chatted along the way and was incredibly supportive and friendly.

It’s hard to beat the exhilaration of exercising in the open air and I for one will definitely be signing up.

For more information visit www.walkfit.co.uk