‘Walk for Life” buddies pay tribute to lost leader

Hills Community Health Centre walking group commemorative walk for Carol Hudson.

The Hills Community Health Centre (HCHC) Heart Foundation Walking Group are dealing with loss the way they know best: putting one foot in front of another.

The walkers and HCHC staff recently completed a commemorative walk in honour of Carol Hudson, one of the group’s original walk leaders.

“Carol will be greatly missed by her walking companions and staff at Hills Community Health Centre,” group member Leith Christiansen said.

The Heart Foundation Walking Group has been hitting the pavements around Castle Hill twice a week for more than 16 years.

From a small start it has grown to more than 50 members representing different age groups and various stages of health and fitness.

Western Sydney Local Health District Population Health deputy director Christine Newman said walking is an essential ingredient to good health with many benefits.

“Walking can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, burning kilojoules which helps to manage weight, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, improves fitness, muscle tone and balance and best of all it has positive effects on our mental health and improves the quality of sleep,” Christine said.

Integrated and Community Health clinical nurse unit manager Trish Doyle said the group has a positive approach to the role walking does in the prevention of heart disease, being active and mental health.

“There are two walking groups: the fast walkers who walk and talk bristly for one hour, and the slower walkers who talk and walk at their own pace,” Trish said.

Leith, 71, has been walking with the group each Wednesday and Thursday since 2016.

“I’ve made some really lovely friends through the walking group, and it leads to other activities particular on the weekends where it can be a bit quiet if you’re on your own,” he said.

To join the walking group, visit https://walking.heartfoundation.org.au/walking/new-south-wales or email leithchristiansen@ozonline.com.au