Why you'd better start walking

It’s no secret to many that walking has huge health benefits. According to the Heart Foundation, walking for just 30 minutes a day can:

  • lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by 35 per cent and type 2 diabetes by 40 per cent
  • manage weight, blood pressure and cholesterol
  • reduce your risk of some cancers
  • reduce your risk of developing a cold or the flu
  • provide an effective energy boost by increasing levels of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine
  • clear your head and help you think creatively
  • maintain bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
  • help protect your joints, including your knees and hips
  • boost your mental health, self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal
  • improve balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls and other injuries
  • potentially prolong your life.

Walking offers health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. And best of all, it’s free and not difficult to fit into your daily routine.

Not only are the physical health benefits of walking invaluable, but the social aspect is also every bit as important for wellbeing and mental health.

Joining a walking group, such as Apia’s Steppin Out Walking Group, can be the first step towards a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Apia, Australia’s leading over-50s insurance specialist, has partnered with Heart Foundation Walking to operate walking groups across the country. Customers and members of the community can join weekly walks in their local areas. It’s a great way to exercise and chat, connect with people and the community while improving your health at the same time.

Apia’s walking groups operate all year round, even when it’s wet and raining.

“If it’s too wet and wild, walkers still gather to socialise over a cup of hot tea or coffee in the Apia branch,” said a Steppin Out member from Devonport.

There are more rewards than just good health and wellbeing on offer, too. Participants who walk for more than a month are gifted with a free pack of goodies. And in some of our locations participants receive free ongoing blood pressure tests so they can see how much their health improves over time.

Since the first walking group started in 2017, Apia Steppin Out groups have spread across the country. So, whip on some sturdy walking shoes, grab your hat, dab on some sunscreen and step into one of the following Apia branches to join your local walking group. Your heart and your mind will thank you and you’re sure to meet some friendly people and learn a thing or two about your community.

Walking group location

Day

Walk time

Address

Shellharbour

Thursdays

7.45am

Shop 39, Stockland Shopping Centre, 211 Lake Entrance Rd, Shellharbour

Albury

Wednesdays

9.30am

463 Kiewa St, Albury

Coolangatta

Tuesdays

8am summer, 8.30am winter

4 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Mandurah

Tuesdays

9am

Shop 5, 20-24 Sholl St, Mandurah

Charlestown

Fridays

8.30am

25 Pearson St, Charlestown

Port Macquarie

Thursdays

8.30am

Shop 3, 128 William St, Port Macquarie

Coffs Harbour

Wednesdays

8.30am

4 Park St, Coffs Harbour

Bundaberg

Wednesdays

8am Summer, 8.30am Winter

Shop 13, Hinkler Shopping Centre, 16 Maryborough St, Bundaberg

Maroochydore

Wednesdays

8am Summer, 8.30am Winter

26 Duporth Ave, Maroochydore

Ballarat

Wednesdays

9am

Shop 107, Stockland Shopping Centre, Norman & Gillies Sts, Wendouree

Mornington

Tuesdays

10am

160B Main St, Mornington

Geelong

Thursdays

9.30am

Shop 132, Westfield Shopping Centre, 95 Malop St, Geelong

Launceston

Tuesdays

9.45am

Shop 8, Centro Meadow Mews, 102 Hobart Rd, Kings Meadow

Devonport

Tuesdays

3pm

115 Rooke St, Devonport

Please note: Always speak to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.

If you would like to find out more about the Apia Steppin Out walking program, pop into your local branch or inquire by email to [email protected]

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Why not listen to Apia’s regional manager of customer value and development Try Waite tell you all about Steppin Out?

Apia is a YourLifeChoices preferred partner. 

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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