Walking4Life at The Hawthorns Braintree exercise walking hiking
The Hawthorns Braintree, Essex

Walking4Life at The Hawthorns Braintree

Residents at The Hawthorns Braintree are putting their best foot forward in an exciting new initiative called Walking4Life. The programme, created by Ronald Gladwell, has introduced several walking routes around the retirement community with the aim to get residents and visitors to have fun, keep active and enjoy some healthy competition!

As walking can be a great way to meet people and socialise with friends, it was a perfect fit for The Hawthorns. Walking also has numerous health benefits as a low-impact exercise. It can help individuals live independently for longer by strengthening bones and muscles, lowering the risk of heart disease, improving balance and coordination, keeping joints flexible and increasing confidence, mood and energy levels.

Ronald, founder of Gym In Motion and The Hawthorns Braintree’s Retain and Regain instructor, has ensured Walking4Life is suitable for any walking fitness level, with set routes encompassing all of the floors and stairs and an adaptable garden route for warmer weather. Residents track their progress on log sheets and with a pedometer, able to see their development after each week, month or year.


Launched in June, the response to Walking4Life has been overwhelmingly positive, with three residents leading the way in August’s league table. Third place went to Fred Flight who walked 5 miles. Don Tedder came in second with a notable 9 miles, but the winner was Malcolm Hewson who reached an incredible fourteen miles!

Malcolm told us that his walking secret was all “a matter of discipline”. All three residents already enjoyed walking but found that the Walking4Life programme had encouraged them to do more, especially with the competitive incentive. Don agreed, saying “I go walking every day and feel all the better for it. It gets me out and I talk to people along the way.” Fred, who often walks to the local park too, said “I feel much better for walking, I try to walk most days taking different routes.”

Walking4Life links into our Well-being Programme: promoting physical, mental and social health to encourage a happy, independent and active lifestyle. We’re excited to see where the next step takes us!

Walking4Life at The Hawthorns Braintree exercise walking hiking

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