The countryside and should GPs should recommend a good walk in the country for health, mental health and ailments for exercise.

I am a disabled person and I have fibromyalgia, chronic arthritis in the toes, feet, knees and hips as well as my hip.  I also have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and chronic arthritis in my elbows and all the result of a very bad accident.  I have spent years wallowing in my own self-pity and being told that I was not going to walk away was the greatest shock of my life.  The care given by my GP before he retired was excellent and I was lucky to have had him as both a GP and family friend and he refused to give me anti-depressants and recommend getting out to the countryside. He informed me that developing a love of the countryside and the freedom will give me the will power to work through all my problems.   I thought he was one of those crack pot Doctors and spent years in the house, however when I moved to my current home, I realised just how right  he was.

I am very lucky where I live, as within five minutes of leaving my home I am walking with my husband and my jack russell Zeus on a  beautiful country park.  I battled through the pain in my legs and managed to get out of the wheelchair and  I have begun to learn to appreciate nature and the glory of being part of the gorgeous world we live in.  The number of birds I see especially finches are growing by the day there are also magpies, wood pigeons, cranes and birds of prey. It is truly astounding to watch a bird of prey hover hoping they land a catch but saddened something must something die to do so.  The beautiful sounds the birds make lowers my blood pressure and makes whatever is going through my mind go away and totally irrelevant.

As we continue our journey, we come across many other dog walkers most of whom are sensible dog owners and have full control over their pets and sadly we come across the odd one who has not, but this is few and far between. This does not put us off and we walk deeper and deeper into the country park.  On our travels we have seen many rabbits, ducks, cats and even stoats. We walk on paths, through the woods and round the duck pond and the local stream has huge fish in it and we often look to see how many we can see, and best of all the GP was right.

We don’t walk at a great pace and I sometimes need a walking stick and in the winter….strewth it hurts but I get round and do you know what I love it as the constantly changing weather and the fact that I am away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is just beautiful.

Maybe GPs should take a leaf out of the good old-fashioned GP notebook and follow mine and recommend the countryside and stop pumping out pills.  

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