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Thursday 17 December 2020

Council encourages residents to get walking to stay well this winter

Cheshire East Council is encouraging residents to make the most of the milder winter weather this December by taking a walk.

As we continue to live under the restrictions that the coronavirus has required, it is really important for people to focus on what they can do, and that could mean getting up on your feet and going for a stroll.

Walking is a form of exercise that you can do alone or, providing that you socially distance from fellow walkers in doing so, in a group of up to six people. The benefits of walking can be felt very positively in your physical and mental health.

Dr Matt Tyrer, Cheshire East Council director of public health, said: “As a lot of us will not be leaving our homes to visit friends and family this year for the festive celebrations, it becomes even more important that we try to stay active over the two-week holiday that many people will be taking.

“For many, the Christmas break is a time of rest and relaxation and I very much encourage that. It has been a difficult year and we all need some time to rest and recuperate. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t leave our homes at all.

“A walk, whatever length it might be, can be really good for the mind and body and even a ten-minute stroll can give real benefits.”

Covid safety guidance continues to encourage us to walk wherever possible to avoid using public transport. For both Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, the Rule of 6 must be complied with in outdoor public spaces – following guidance which includes social distancing and frequent hand hygiene. Full details can be found on the ‘Local restriction tiers: what you need to know’ government guidance.

While the weather appears mild, walking and being outdoors can encourage runny noses, therefore carrying tissues and hand gel is a good idea. Outdoor public spaces include parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens and grounds of a heritage site.

Movement between areas operating in a different tier continues to be discouraged unless it is for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or due to caring responsibilities.

Public Health England’s ‘One You’ campaign says that a ten-minute brisk walk is recognised as good exercise, as it raises the heart rate and improves fitness. This could be a very important part of realising your 2021 health and wellbeing goals.

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