When it comes to improving our mood and mental health, there’s nothing quite like getting out into nature for a stroll, whether that’s just a short walk around the park or a weekend adventure to explore a new part of the country.
Walking outdoors is scientifically proven to lift the spirits and help release those feel-good endorphins, with even a twenty-minute amble surrounded by nature enough to lift the mood and have a positive effect on mental health. This is especially true for our elderly loved ones who can often feel lonely and isolated from the rest of the world but don’t dare venture out alone through fear of slips and falls.
With that in mind, we’re promoting National Walking Month this May with some of the best walks in our area. All have been chosen as they are suitable for those with limited mobility.
Walking is a wonderful way to appreciate the variety and beauty of Buckinghamshire – and if you’re looking for some new routes to occupy your time, then we’ve got you sorted, so grab those walking shoes and prepare to get out into the sights and sounds of nature to give both your physical and mental health a boost.
Surrounded by a cooling canopy of majestic trees, immerse yourselves in the great outdoors set to a backdrop of birdsong as you stroll around one of five pre-selected trails at the wonderful Wendover Woods.
With a route to suit all abilities, there’s also a quaint café along the way where you can take for rest, meet a friend for an overdue catch-up and perhaps even enjoy a slice of cake before heading back home.
Coombe Hill and Chequers Trail
Talking in an expanse of chalk grassland that’s home to an array of creatures, unspoilt woodland and a glimpse of Prime Minister’s country retreat at Chequers, this trail also takes in the pretty village of Ellesborough where there are useful facilities such as cafes, toilets and parking spaces.
Perfect for a picnic on a warm day, this circular route includes a Boer War memorial and stunning views over the Chilterns.
If you have an elderly relative who’s a bit of a ‘twitcher’, Penn Wood offers the opportunity to spot some interesting bird species that call the woodland and grasslands home.
From buzzards to bluebells in spring, this ancient-wooded area is steeped in history and makes a wonderful walk on warmer days. The rich canopy of trees creates plenty of shade as well as providing a habitat for many species of woodland creature.
For fans of the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Midsomer Murders, a visit to the idyllic village of Turville is a must!
The village itself is nice and flat making it easy for those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility to get around and there is a wonderful local pub that offers an array of delicious meals and drinks to round off the day nicely.
There’s strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia. When you find exercise difficult or aren’t sure how to be more active, walking is a great activity. A daily walk, even if it’s just a 15-minute stroll to the shops, is really good for you.
Some elderly people may be hesitant about taking up exercise if they have any medical conditions, reduced mobility or are disabled. Our care experts can advise how best to approach activity in everyday life, along with suggesting appropriate exercises to try.