Somerset ‘Soul Walks’ are just what the doctor ordered for relieving stresses of live

County wide scheme promotes walking as an effective way of relieving the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.


Walking is one of the healthiest ways to look after yourself – and it’s not just about keeping fit. Stepping out for a regular walk is also a great way to look after your mind!

Health advisors with NHS Somerset are working with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and at least nine other community organisations, to promote physical activity as a means of improving mental well-being.

Called ‘Soul Walks’, some 30 walks will be taking place around Somerset throughout September and October. The aim is to encourage people affected by stress, anxiety or depression, or any other type of mental ill health. The walks are designed for everyone irrespective of their level of fitness. It is hoped that a total of 200 walkers will join in with at least one of the walks.


Dr Caroline Gamlin, Director of Public Health with NHS Somerset, says: “Everyone knows that brisk walking strengthens the heart and lungs and helps to combat physical problems such as high blood pressure.

“But just as important are the benefits it brings to the mind. Things such as dealing with negative emotions, reducing stress and depression, helping you sleep better at night, boosting energy levels and helping you feel better about yourself as you lose weight, change body shape and feel more muscle tone.

“It has been clinically shown that physical activity can have a beneficial effect on mild to moderate depression, and in many cases could be as effective as medication or therapy.” The ‘Soul Walks’ walks are FREE and open to absolutely anyone. You don’t need any special clothing or equipment.

To learn more about Soul Walks and Somerset Health Walks visit the following websites: