New blog: Why I love walking

Published June 28, 2017 at 11:57

By Councillor Mustafa Desai, the Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care for Blackburn with Darwen Council

We are currently going through very challenging times with huge pressures on our health and social care systems. The problems are not going to go away anytime soon and there are no easy solutions but if we all take it upon ourselves to do our little bit, although the impact may not be immediate, there are most certainly long term benefits to be realised. 

In my current Local Authority role of Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, one of my key responsibilities is to promote healthy living. Numerous initiatives, incentives, policies, guidance and frameworks have been implemented over the years however bringing about change, particularly lifestyle change is not easy. It’s a long and arduous journey that requires of its participants a certain level of determination, self discipline and a shift in mindset.There does not need to be a complete overhaul of one’s lifestyle; just small tweaks in eating and drinking habits, increasing physical activity such as taking up regular walking could potentially provide immediate and longer term physical and mental health benefits.

I believe in leading by example and my motive for posting pictures of beautiful places that I walk with my family and friends – places that are right on our doorstep – is to inspire each and everyone of you to seize the opportunity to do the same.

I incorporated walking into my life after a short spell of illness and the impact has been truly amazing. I often regret not starting this wonderful activity sooner. I’ve enjoyed many different kinds of walks over the last two and half years. Not only is walking a great way to stay physically fit, but it has also been a wonderful way to spend quality time with my family and friends. Walking is not only good for the heart, but also for matters of the heart. 

I believe in leading by example and my motive for posting pictures of beautiful places that I walk with my family and friends – places that are right on our doorstep – is to inspire each and everyone of you to seize the opportunity to do the same.

The walks that I take with family or friends produce a camaraderie that encourages conversation and breeds motivation. We learn about each other, help each other with our challenges and grow together by walking; a true inspiration in itself and thoroughly enjoyable.

I now consider walking as part of who I am, and I not only enjoy it, I love it!

There are many people who have the same opinion of exercise as I once did — they don’t want to do it, don’t have time for it or even discuss it. If this is you, then let me suggest that you simply take time each day to walk and talk with a family member or friend. Help each other with daily challenges and notice how great you both feel once the walk is complete.

Walking also promotes social interaction, you will meet with and interact with people from all ‘walks’ of life. It is a truly wonderful experience.