Moving for mind, body and the planet: Hayley's Story

Updated: May 12, 2021

Blog by Hayley

Sustainable Merton Supporter

Having always been a car driver and one of those people who drove everywhere, even when I didn't necessarily need to, I was failing to see the impact this was having on the environment surrounding me.

During the global coronavirus pandemic I was identified as high risk and therefore had to shield, not being able to leave my front door for three months. This had a major effect on not only my physical health but also my mental health. Being told that after three months I could leave the house for daily exercise opened up a whole new world for me and started me on a journey to reaching goals I never thought I'd be able to achieve.


Walking became my main mode of transport and I quickly saw the benefits... I was able to surround myself in local green spaces and absolutely thrived from being in nature and discovering the wildlife on my doorstep. I began to see a positive effect on my mental health and began to really enjoy the fact that I was no longer reliant on my car.

Being a sufferer of chronic health conditions it became apparent that being able to get out and about on foot gave me a sense of purpose and achievement and I actually looked forward to my next walking adventure. I saw an improvement in my overall physical health, and for the first time, I was choosing walking over using my car to get around.


Walking soon turned into running and this is definitely something that I never thought I'd be able to do! I would always watch other people running and wish I could do that, wondering how they started and what motivated them. After lots of procrastinating, I bought my first pair of running trainers, laced them up and hit the pavements and parks of Merton, completing ‘