Wellbeing of walking


I was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  One of the things I have to do to keep it under control is walk for half an hour day.  I’ve not been much of a walker for years and so this is a bit of a challenge for me!  My friend and fellow Leeds Wellbeing Webber Su is a big fan of walking, so I interviewed her about this. We sat outside the Abbey Inn pub that borders Horsforth and Bramley and took some photos of the area.

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Many people, if not most, get into a habit of not exercising and have little motivation to change this.  What would you suggest to overcome this Su?

I do struggle with motivation.  Sometimes arranging to go with someone else is enough to focus on doing it, or convincing myself that I’m really not fit and listening to my body. I need to just get on and do it and dedicate myself to it. A practical thing I do is to write a large memo as a prompt and place it somewhere prominent as a reminder that I want to get out of the house and walk.

People often say walking is the best exercise and can raise your mood.  What is your experience of this?

I think that is absolutely true. And there are benefits to walking with other people, for companionship and safety.  I did have a time where I dedicated myself to doing it everyday. I’d do it without headphones and music, take a notebook because solutions to problems that seemed insurmountable would kind of float to the surface as you’re walking. Kind of like meditation.  If you’re doing it by yourself, you can enter into that state.

Where and when do you like to walk?

Because there isn’t always someone to go with, it has to be local.  That’s Leeds 13, Bramley.  When I’ve felt fitter, I have walked from Bramley to Horsforth, across the boundary, the river and canal.  That’s a nice long walk.  I like Bramley Fall Woods and Bramley park.  There is a fabulous view from there.  I like Half  Mile Lane, which borders Bramley and Farsley.  Going further afield, Roundhay Park and Woodhouse Moor are pleasant.  I attend Leeds University and the campus is an enjoyable place to walk, it includes Saint George’s field.

Have you always enjoyed walking?

Yes it was very much part of my upbringing.  We always walked to school, I walked at least four miles a day, to and from Primary School. I always walked to work.  But I’m not a hiker or country rambler, I find that hard nowadays.  I walk to the shops and town.  I keep in mind it should be a daily activity.

To summarise then,  motivation can be improved by having a walking companion, using prompts to focus, walking can help you to think more clearly and gain insight into any problems, Walking is an opportunity to enjoy nature and it’s scenery, it is the best exercise and helps raise your mood.

Daniel Tavet

DIAMONDS – Diabetes and Mental Illness

Without doubt, lived experience of any mental health problem is challenging. Couple that experience with any additional medical or physical condition and you might expect treatment outcomes to be affected….they are! A startling example of this is in the case of people with diabetes who in addition have a psychiatric diagnosis.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) also known as simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period” (Wikipedia) and approximately 3.2million people are affected in UK

Evidence suggests that “diabetes is more than twice as prevalent and has poorer outcomes in people” diagnosed with “schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression than those without. “Although behavioural interventions have proved very effective in the general population, it is not known how effective such interventions are in people” with the aforementioned psychiatric diagnosis, to that end

“Dr Najma Siddiqi is working with colleagues as part of the NHS Yorkshire & Humber Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) on an exciting new research project to help people with both diabetes and SMI  (Serious Mental Illness) better manage their diabetes”.

In addition ……

DIAMONDS, .Diabetes and Mental Illness:Improving Outcomes and Treatments, Stake Holder Group.of Bradford NHS Trust……are asking for the help and support of people with lived experience of mental illness/diabetes, and/or their carers to take part in the following, on-line questionnaire survey

and possibly for their attendance at.an initial consultation event to be held on

Thursday 4th September, 2014  11am – 1.00pm at

The Cellar Trust, The Old School, Farfield Road, Shipley BD18 4QP.

Tea and coffee will be served from 10.30 a.m. and lunch will be available after the meeting.

You can book on-line here

or contact sarah.kirkland@bdct.nhs.uk if you would like to attend, or have any further questions.

DIAMONDS also suggest you might like to follow them on Twitter