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Walking & running

Get fit, relax in the fresh air or explore your local area.

The Helix path network provides a stunning backdrop for walks and runs. Our paths connect 16 communities via 26 kilometres of paths - so there's always a new route to try.

Walk with a group

Walking 30 minutes fives times a week can be highly beneficial to your health and fitness, and it's totally free. Walking is ideal for all ages and fitness levels, and is by far the easiest way to get more active.

We have the following walks which start from Falkirk Stadium and walk around the Helix;

Monday 10am Health Walk
Monday 1.15pm Buggy Walk 
Monday 7pm Heart of the Helix Walk
Wednesday 7pm Helix Connect

 

"Get outdoors on the Helix paths and try out Nordic Walking. We use specially designed poles to provide a full body workout. Nordic Walking will strengthen your back, train your core, tone your body and help you lose weight." Barbara McConnell, Step Forth Co-ordinator

Nordic walking

Nordic walking is a full-body exercise that's easy on the joints and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It uses specialised poles to help to propel the walker, meaning you walk faster and your body works harder. The support given by the poles makes it easier. Please note that Nordic walking requires special training before you take part.

Nordic Walking at The Helix usually takes place on a Tuesday evening. For more information on training, and for other Nordic Walking sessions around Falkirk, contact Barbara McConnell at barbara.mcconnell@falkirkcommunitytrust.org.

Tips for walking

We've borrowed some information from the National Health Service Choices website to provide you with some tips for walking. We'd always recommend that you consult a medical professional before taking part in any exercise programme.

Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.

  • A pair of shoes is all the equipment you really need. Any shoes or trainers that are comfortable, provide adequate support and don't cause blisters will do.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely. Choose thin layers rather than heavy, chunky clothing.
  • For long walks, you may want to take some water, healthy snacks, a spare top, sunscreen and a sunhat in a small backpack.
  • If you start taking regular, longer walks, you may want to invest in a waterproof jacket and some walking boots for more challenging routes.
  • Start slowly and try to build your walking regime gradually. To get the health benefits from walking, it needs to be of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. In other words, it needs to be faster than a stroll.
  • Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you're walking fast enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. One way to tell is that you'll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favourite song.

Running

The Helix is a great place to run. Our paths are wide and flat, as well as being easy on the feet having been recently surfaced with a smooth finish.

What's more, The Helix provides a stunning backdrop for your training. Whether you're a serious runner or just starting out, there's plenty of room for everyone. 

Tips for running

We'd always advise that you speak to a medical professional before taking part in any exercise regime. We've shared some running tips below, borrowed from the NHS Choices website.

  • To avoid injury and enjoy the experience, it's essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings.
  • Start each run with a gentle warm-up of at least five minutes. This can include quick walking, marching on the spot, knee lifts, side stepping and climbing stairs.
  • Start walking for an amount of time that feels comfortable (anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes). 
  • Once you can walk for 30 minutes easily, include some running intervals of one to two minutes into your walking at a speed that feels comfortable.
  • As time goes on, make the running intervals longer, until you're running for 30 minutes continuously.
  • Run with your arms and shoulders relaxed, and elbows bent. Keep an upright posture and a smooth running stride, striking the ground with the middle of your foot.
  • Give yourself a few minutes to cool down (to bring your heartbeat back to normal) after each run by walking followed by gently stretching your leg muscles.
  • Regular running for beginners means getting out at least twice a week. Your running will improve as your body adapts to the consistent training stimulus.
  • It's better to run twice a week, every week, than to run half a dozen times one week and then do no running for the next three weeks.

Disability access

We've tried to make The Helix pathways as accessible as possible for wheelchair users.

If you'd like to learn more about health, sports and exercise for the physically, mentally or sensory-impaired, get in touch with Forth Valley Disability Sports for more information and support.