As I get older I am becoming more aware of my environment and local community.  I notice how as a nation we do not look after what we have and appreciate what a beautiful world we live in.

I am lucky enough to have a Nordic Walking business. I spend a lot of time on the South Downs or on the beach. It is shameful how much mess individuals leave behind without a care. I worry about the messages we are sending our children. Will they grow up thinking it is ok to simply drop what they do not need?

I am also more aware of how many people worry about their health but do not want to join a local gym. Many of my members tell me how they want to be outside and do not want to do a formal exercise programme.  They also tell me how important it is to them to have social interaction and to feel save in their local community.

In this day and age time is limited. Here are a few ideas of how we can keep fit and healthy as well as support our local and national communities.   

Litter picking on a walk or a run

The culture of throwaway consumerism is costing the country £850 million a year, environmental groups have reported.

The Keep Britain Tidy survey of local authorities in England reported the cost of employing litter pickers and buying equipment to clear chewing gum rose by £100 million in the last year.

There is a new craze called ‘Plogging’ which is enjoyed by people who are conscious of the importance of keeping healthy and looking after their environment. Ploggers and joggers who include litter picking whilst running.


Ploggers can be seen with gloves and bin bags. As they run they fill their refuse sacks with plastic bottles, cigarette butts etc. They are clearing their streets and parks.

Gardening for an elderly person

We have had record-breaking sunshine as well as days of torrential rain. Our gardens are suffering as a result. Take a look at your neighbour’s garden and offer to cut the grass or clear the leaves. Share the chores, it is more fun when you have company. Age UK have various initiatives.






Clear public footpaths

Our councils find it difficult to keep public footpaths clear. In some cases you just need to report a blocked path and they will clear it as quickly as they can. However, if you ask for permission it is possible to organise a working group to clear the paths for easy access. Community projects bring people together.

Charity Miles

For every mile you move, you help earn money for a selected charity from a corporate sponsorship pool. I chose the World Wildlife Fund. Every time I walk, run or cycle my charity receives funds.

Charity miles

Dog walking


Walking a dog can be a great way to keep fit.   If you do not own a dog, why not help out someone who finds it difficult to keep their dog exercised? Borrow my Doggy is a service which matches up a dog with a walker.

Cycle instead of using the car


We are constantly being told how we need to lower the emissions in the air. Planning a commute around using a bike can really make a difference to our local communities. Cycle to work schemes can help you in financing a good bike.  Cycle maintenance lessons are easily accessible on how to maintain your bike and British Cycling have lots of information on how to keep safe.

Outdoor Gyms

The Great Outdoor Gym Company has designed exercise machines, which generate electricity. Why not charge your phone whilst using your own manpower?

Look for your local outdoor gym.


Denise Page

By Denise Page

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