Cardiac Patients Walk to A Better Health

Cardiac patients in Forth Valley stepped out in style recently on a big fit walk, designed to lead to better health. Members of NHS Forth Valley’s cardiac rehab class and Forth Valley Healthy Hearts Club, set out from The Peak Sports Centre in Stirling before heading down to the River Forth and back.

The event was part of a Paths for All campaign to get as many people as possible out walking in their local area; all those taking part have been affected by heart-related problems, either suffering them themselves or knowing someone who has

The Forth Valley Healthy Hearts Club, which is a registered charity, was set up at Stirling Royal Infirmary in 1996 after it was realised there was nothing for patients to attend after their cardiac rehabilitation ended. Nearly 20 years later the club is still going strong and is based between Forth Valley Royal Hospital and The Peak, where there is a dedicated NHS studio.

The Club encourages members to take part in a whole host of activities, such as swimming and bowling as well as going walking. There are regular walking groups hosted by Healthy Hearts for people of all fitness levels.

Walk Co-ordinator Bill Reid, who has had his own heart problems in the past said: “We’ve had walkers that couldn’t do more than a few hundred yards when they joined us, now they can walk a good 3-4 miles. Some go further than that, just last year we walked the John Muir Way which is 134 miles from Helensburgh to Dunbar!”

The Club is open to anyone in the local community who has had cardiac problems and has been through the hospital or Peak based cardiac rehab programme. Everyone is welcome to come along and meet some likewise people. People of all ages and levels of fitness are welcome and, as all the walkers start and finish together, there is always company.

Cardiac Rehab Physiotherapist, Kirsty Hughes said “Walking is a great choice of activity and can help people meet the National physical activity guidelines by doing 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity most days of the week”

The Cardiology Ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital can provide information to anyone interested in finding out more on The Healthy Hearts Club.

For more information on Big Fit Walks in the local area, please refer to the Paths for All website