We’re now starting the fifth week of our local lockdown fitness initiative and our participants have now exceeded 1000km between them. We continue to use the initiative to raise awareness and funds for Mind in Herts and applications to participate in our walkabouts will remain open throughout the duration of lockdown, so anyone can join in at any time.

Community Walkabout is a free and easy way to: Get fresh air and exercise; Compare your progress with others; Encourage others to get active. Plus we’re aiming to raise funds for Mind in Herts. Hertfordshire Mind Network delivers essential mental health support in Hertfordshire, providing a diverse range of services from seven Wellbeing Centres and other venues across all ten districts of the county.

Week 4 progress.
Total progress.

At the start of Lockdown 3 we invited anyone (just TSC Members or Hemel FC fans) to participate in a walking challenge during lockdown, commencing Monday 11th January 2021. This is part of our commitment to get the people of Hemel Hempstead active; this is a simple challenge that will hopefully encourage people to use the opportunity of daily outdoor exercise in a safe and fun way and compare their achievements with others. Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. You don’t have to be a beginner, if you’re already in the habit of walking for exercise, walking your dog, walking to work… it all counts!

The Prime Minister has announced new restrictions, bringing England into it’s third national lockdown. As part of the new guidelines, you are allowed to exercise outdoors with one other person outside of their household, although this should be limited to once a day and performed locally. We don’t encourage anyone to make unessential trips or lengthy jaunts, the focus should be regular (preferably daily) walks within your locale; even a brisk 10-minute walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. The NHS “Walking for Health” website has advice and guidance for walking.

Outdoor spaces where you’re allowed to exercise include neighbourhood streets, parks and the countryside, public gardens and grounds (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments and outdoor playgrounds. You don’t have to wear a face covering when exercising outdoors. There is not a time limit on how long your exercise should be, so technically you can walk any distance. However, bear in mind that the guidance states that excursions should be limited to once a day. The new rules state that you can only meet up outdoors with one other person from another household, or your support bubble.  When around other people, the advice says you should stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household/support bubble.

To participate in our challenge, you will need to complete an application form. You’ll be emailed a form every seven days and asked to submit your progress in distance, we’ll then chart everyone’s weekly and overall results and feature them on our website. If you’re relatively active at work or walk to/from work and don’t consider you need to take extra exercise, why not document your distances if you’ve got a tracking app and still participate.