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Walking for health in Donostia - San Sebastián

Walking is fun: Bihotz Bizi organises walking tours in town recognising that fitness and good mood are key to good health.

[February 2011] Walking has always been a very popular activity in Donostia - San Sebastián. A recent study made by Donostia Kirola (a city department which runs the local sports centres) shows that walking is the favourite form of sports for 35% of people. The study also shows that when people are getting older, they prefer practicing sports in the open air rather than in an indoors sports centre. Three out of 4 older people in San Sebastian usually go for a walk.

Recent medical advancements along with more awareness about proper diet and fitness have meant that people beyond retirement age are fitter than ever and still want to pursue objectives. There is an association in San Sebastián, Bihotz Bizi (Living Heart), which prevents cardiovascular diseases of older people by organising excursions around the city to encourage them to walk more in their daily life. The meetings are arranged two times per week during the morning and it takes around an hour and a half.

In some cases, older people prefer staying at home instead of walking, because of the lack of partner. So Bihotz Bizi tries to change their habits, giving them alternatives to socialize with the other participants and offering different alternative walking routes. They also try to convince and motivate those people who do not have time to join these excursions by organising short 15 minute routes.

This initiative is targeted at those older people who not only want to be fit but also want to have fun. After all, good mood is the most important prerequisite to improve their health.

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