A HIKING enthusiast is encouraging people getting outdoors and joining one of her guided walks around Solihull and surrounding rural areas.
Gloria Francis, from Solihull, is a carer to a young person with severe learning difficulties.
She said hiking has helped her to find balance and literally transformed her life with the respite time she has in between caring for her daughter.
“Carers have so many time restraints, so weekday hikes are ideal.
“Carers can enjoy the great outdoors around their caring responsibilities which may help them find some balance in their life, as it can be done when the person being cared for are at school, college, or day care provision”.
Gloria launched GetYourHikeOn recently to get people active.
She wanted to use the momentum of the Commonwealth Games to inspire locals and get them outside hiking, which is often an underrated yet very effective form of exercise with well documented physical and mental wellbeing benefits.
“Hiking has introduced me to a new way of life I didn’t know existed. I’ve travelled extensively throughout the UK participating in group hikes discovering some of the most beautiful places on this earth, whilst building some solid friendships as well as developing a different but very rewarding social life”.
Now a serial hiker, Gloria has progressed to successfully hosting and leading group hikes off-road around rural Solihull and other surrounding areas in a bid to share her passion with others, whilst reaping all the health and social benefits of hiking.
“People from Black and other ethnic groups are underrepresented in the hiking community. With myself as a visible and active group walk leader, I’m hoping GetYourHikeOn will encourage those from the BAME community to come and try off-road hiking”.