A Scottish author has shared the tale of rediscovering his local area thanks to the help of a charity’s health walk initiative.
Organised by Scotland’s national walking charity, multi-award-winning author and storyteller Michael Kerins (69) has joined Paths for All’s Health Walks to push his step challenge and explore more of his local community.
After working as a medical representative for Pfizer for 18 years in Glasgow, Michael has now retired in Chryston, dedicating his time to exploring the outdoors and writing children’s books with clear messages – the most recent story about COP26.
Michael Kerins said:
“The Health Walks have given me a sense of place and value.
“Most of the time for me living here was just a dormitory as both my wife and I would work in the city and our children went to school in the city so we just slept here, we didn’t really live here.
“When I retired my daughter got me a Fitbit so I would always try and do 10,000 steps a day.
“Part of the 10,000 steps took me to a lane with a sign about Health Walks. There are three in this area within a mile of each other so I’ve participated in them all.
“It gives me an opportunity to meet people I would never meet in the surrounding villages, and the walks opened up a whole new aspect and beauty. I’ve started taking photographs calling them ‘I love where I live’ and post them on Facebook. I thank the universe for being so bountiful.”
Health Walks are endorsed by leading health experts such as Professor Jason Leitch who is encouraging people across the country to go along to a Health Walk this summer.
The walks are short, low-level and led by trained volunteers and are open to all in communities across Scotland.
Helen Morrison, Senior Development Officer at Paths for All, said:
“It is great to hear of individuals like Michael benefiting from our Health Walks whilst discovering new areas of his community.
“The restart of Health Walks has come at the perfect moment, as restrictions ease further and we head into the peak summer months – we won’t even let the unpredictable Scottish weather dampen our enthusiasm!
“Our Health Walk projects and volunteers are ready and excited to welcome new walkers along to their local walk and reap the social, mental and physical health benefits from getting outdoors and exercising with a group of local people.
“Each walk is led by a trained volunteer following Covid-19 government guidelines, and we hope this will provide those who don’t yet feel completely comfortable in getting out and about again the reassurance they need.
“If you haven’t been active in a while and are looking for some support to get moving, or you’ve missed connecting with people and are looking for some company, our Health Walks are a great place to start. You’ll be sure to receive a warm welcome from our Walk Leaders!”
Paths for All believe regular walking is key to leading a happy and healthy life.
There are 650 Health Walks happening weekly across Scotland, welcoming people of all ages and abilities to join. The walks are free, short and friendly to all.
For more information on Paths for All, please visit: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk.