RESEARCH has revealed that walking is the exercise of choice for over half of the Welsh population.
Researchers at HF Holidays, who polled 1,000 people across the UK, found that 52% agreed that walking is their favourite form of exercise, followed in second place by the 8% who preferred cycling.
10% of those who took part in the survey reported that they don’t exercise at all.
Wales is clearly a nation of walking lovers too, with over three quarters of people saying they had walked simply for pleasure within the last month and over 60% of respondents having walked in just the last week.
An impressive 75% of respondents stated that they walk for up to an hour every day.
When asked what they most enjoyed about walking, two in five survey takers replied that they enjoyed the health benefits, while three in five said that they just enjoyed being outdoors.
One in five people said that they loved the feeling of freedom that accompanies walking.
Matthew Humphreys, Head of Operations at HF Holidays, said: “May is National Walking Month and the people of Britain are encouraged to get out and get walking.
“But, more than that, we want people to walk for pleasure and not just as a means of getting from A to B”.
Nearly two thirds of people who were surveyed responded that they preferred to walk with their partner of a family or friendship group than walking along, which highlights the social benefits that occur from getting out and about in the fresh air.
When asked to describe how they felt after a walk, over 94% of respondents used words such as happy, healthy, calm, revitalised, and said they felt a sense of achievement. 25% said that they feel much happier after a walk.
Mr Humphreys continued: “In today’s busy world, we believe that among the things that matter is an appreciation of natural beauty and a love of the open air.
“Walking doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be a means to an end, it has a huge array of social, physical and mental benefits and we want to share that with the people of Britain.”
Christmas gift fair returns
NEXT Friday (Oct 20), the annual craft and gifts extravaganza will return to Aberystwyth Arts Centre to get the locals in the mood for Christmas.
The Winter Craft & Gift Fair is sure to get visitors feeling festive in the run up to Christmas with over 80 stalls selling a wonderful array of crafts and gifts, many produced by local makers from Ceredigion and mid Wales.
This year will feature many regular stalls, as well as some who will be selling at the fair for the first time, so prepare to discover the unusual and unexpected at this year’s fair with it’s new layout and products for 2017.
The fair will be open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5.30pm on Sundays all the way up until December 23.
On Saturday, November 25, the Arts Centre’s Christmas Food Fair will take over the Great Hall for the day. There will be the very best of Welsh produce with cheese, meats, fish, wine, cider, pastries, puddings, jams and much, much more from many local producers. The Food Fair is the perfect place to stock up on a few gastronomic goodies in the run up to Christmas. There will also be live musical entertainment to get you in the Christmassy mood! The fair will be on 10am-4pm and entry is free!
‘It’s ok to say’
ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, farmers across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.
The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.
“The focus of this year’s World Mental Health day is on mental health in the workplace and farms are just that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts.
“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.
Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters
A TALYBONT native is one of just 28 people in the UK to be awarded a scholarship granted by energy company ScottishPower.
Stella Foster, 32, gratefully received the grant from the Scottish Power Foundation for the 2017/18 academic year.
Having just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, Stella will begin her Masters in Environmental Sciences this week at the University of East Anglia. Environmental science degrees integrate biology, physical science and information sciences to examine environmental systems (air, water, etc.) and how they interact.
The sought-after scholarship covers full enrolment costs as well as a living allowance. On top of this, the scholars will receive unique opportunities including meeting leading industry professionals.
“Travelling around the world and living in China before I started my undergraduate studies made me aware of the astounding change of pace in urbanisation; the two-hour bus ride from where I lived to Shanghai, there wasn’t a moment where you couldn’t see a construction site,” Stella said.
“This fast and dramatic development creates issues with the environment, and I’m really excited to learn about the creative and fascinating solutions out there, and hopefully come up with some of my own,” she added.
Since it was launched in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation scholarships programme has provided £1.5m in grants towards training the next generation in their chosen field.
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