Jan 10 2013 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
IT is almost as easy to start new year’s resolutions as is it to break them, but with a bit of perseverance the rewards can be huge.
A group of walkers from Harrow have spent years getting fit and making friends and many of them are now much healthier and happier.
The NHS organises free health walks to encourage people to lose weight and to improve their general health and they are encouraging more people to take part as they have been extremely popular and successful.
Pat Beasley, of Albury Drive, Pinner, started walking more than three years ago after her doctor told her she was overweight and had osteoarthritis. She has since lost four stone in weight.
The 66-year-old said: “The first time I did the Pinner walk on Thursdays, I found it very hard, looking at my watch every 10 minutes. It seemed like it would never end.
“At the end of the walk I enjoyed my cup of tea and chat and temporarily forgot all about my aches and pains, but when I got home, I was flat out on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon.
“After this I was now looking forward to walking twice a week and it gradually started getting easier.”
Pat now walks regularly and said her health has improved, she uses the car less and sleeps better.
She added: “Since joining Harrow Walking for Health, I have made so many new friends, lost four stone in weight and have now become a walk leader.
“I do five walks a week and enjoy a varied social life.”
Gary Glazerman, 58, of Knightsfield Avenue, North Harrow, was born with heart defects and was classified as obese but was looking for ways to keep healthy.
He became a volunteer leader for the three park walks four years ago and now walks up to six times a week and has lost more than three stone.
Mr Glazerman, who retired early, had surgery to replace a heart valve last year but made a speedy recovery.
He said: “After surgery I was really missing all my friends on the Harrow Health Walks. All the other walkers had been so supportive during my time in hospital, I just wanted to get back walking and leading walks as quickly as possible.”
The NHS Harrow Health Walk Scheme started in 2005 and there are now 10 free walks each week run by 30 volunteers.
A new walk for beginners will be held every Thursday, from 9.15am to 9.45am, starting from Daisy’s Café at West House, in Pinner Memorial Park, West End Lane, Pinner.
For more information, contact Laura Waller at NHS Harrow on 020 8966 1059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.