The group meets every Wednesday morning at Portobello Swim Centre in Edinburgh to walk along the beach-side promenade. When they reach the end of the promenade, they use the railings or benches for strength and balance exercises before heading back for a cuppa and a chat.
The group caters for walkers of all levels of ability and encourages everyone, no matter how fast or slow they are, to come and enjoy the benefits of getting active.
Many of the walkers are living with a range of different health conditions, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. They have found that incorporating more physical activity into their lives has not only helped them improve their strength, balance and fitness but has also helped them manage their conditions.
Many of the walkers are at a similar stage in life. They’re retired, some live alone, their children have grown up and moved away and they have found themselves feeling lonely, isolated and lacking in motivation. Joining the group has given them a new zest for life and has helped them to strike up great friendships and create support networks. They socialise outside of the walk, going to the cinema and theatre, visiting exhibitions, going on bus trips, and having each other round for coffee.
The walk is led by an enthusiastic team of Health Walk volunteers: Bernard Heavie, Christine Watkins, Norma Inglis, Yvonne Speedman, Laura McMurdo and former Paths for All Health Walk Leader of the Year, Tony Lewty. They take it in turns to lead the walk but enjoy it so much that they attend even when they’re not on duty!
Find out more about Edinburgh Leisure’s Ageing Well Walks.
This project is a member of the Scottish Health Walk Network.
Portobello Health Walk is Dementia Friendly.