Brimbank,
18
May
2018
|
04:10
Australia/Melbourne

Stencils steer Brimbank to city of walkers

Summary

Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice has launched dozens of pavement stencils featuring the words of Charles Dickens to encourage more residents to get walking for better health.

Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice has launched dozens of pavement stencils featuring the words of Charles Dickens to encourage more residents to get walking for better health.

Walk and be happy, walk and be healthy will feature on pavements throughout the Glengala Road shopping strip precinct in Sunshine West, inviting residents to join Heart Foundation Walking – Australia’s largest free walking network.

Heart Foundation Walking National Manager Michelle Wilson said that while Dickens’ advice was coined more than 150 years ago, its relevance remains two centuries on. The only problem is, we’re still not heeding the advice.

“Walking can do wonders for our health and happiness, but too many Victorians are missing out. More than 53 per cent of Victorians aged 18 years and over are not active enough - that’s more than two million people who have much to gain by moving more,” Ms Wilson said.

“Being inactive increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke, and shortens lifespan by up to five years. But on the other hand, just walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by a third.”

The stencils complement the area chosen for Brimbank’s 20-Minute Neighbourhood project, which aims to give residents the ability to ‘live locally’, accessing most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, cycle or public transport trip of their home.

Cr Margaret Giudice said Brimbank has several active Heart Foundation Walking Groups, but there’s room for many more.

“Not only does walking carry many wonderful health benefits for people of all ages and abilities, it helps foster a connection to others and to the community,” Cr Giudice said. “Joining or setting up a Heart Foundation Walking Group is a great way to discover our neighbourhood and it also brings with it the benefits of friendship and support.”

Ms Wilson said regular walking benefits the mind as well as the body - improving self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue. “Regular walking can also help stave off the decline in memory, planning and thinking skills that can occur with ageing, and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 50 per cent.”

The Heart Foundation Walking program allows people to walk with others in groups or as an individual via the Heart Foundation Walking app (iPhone and Android). For an extra challenge and a chance to win prizes, Brimbank residents are encouraged to join the Prime Minister’s One Million Steps by downloading the Heart Foundation Walking App or signing up with a group.

The Prime Minister’s One Million Steps runs until August, with milestones as low as 100,000 steps, or 100 group walks, gaining people entry into prize draws along the way to win vouchers from a host of Australian retailers.

For more information, people can visit walking.heartfoundation.org.au