TV PRESENTER Julia Bradbury is making tracks for the Chilterns next week to promote her new book about the health benefits of walking.
The broadcaster’s lifelong passion for the outdoors has been reflected throughout her career, from her years as co-host of BBC1’s Countryfile to the wide range of walking programmes she has fronted.
More recently, in the wake of her breast cancer diagnosis and surgery, she has increasingly been dedicating her time to promote the benefits of healthy living and the virtues of nature therapy.
Her latest book, Walk Yourself Happy, focuses on both mental and physical wellbeing, and reflects her first-hand experience of the profound impact of nature.
As part of a promotional tour in the wake of the book’s launch on September 14, Julia has been speaking at bookshops and literary festivals from Lancashire to the West Country and arrives in Berkshire next week.
After visiting Hungerfood Bookshop on September 28, she will appear at Windsor Literary Festival on October 1 and Henley Literary Festival on October 8 before visiting Chorleywood on October 9, where her talk at the memorial hall has been organised by Chiltern Bookshops.
Part memoir and part self-help guide, the book incorporates science-backed research, practical tips and Julia’s own experiences to explore how nature can soothe anxiety and stress, helping us to cope with grief, illness and the pressures of everyday life.
Can connecting more with nature actually make us healthier? And can something as simple as going for a walk really improve our lives?
Julia believes she knows the answer and enlists the help of experts to help convince us of the science behind the importance to us of morning light or the psychological benefits of connecting with our ancestral roots.
For Julia the importance of spreading the word about the health benefits of nature has become not just an integral part of her own life but a true “passion project”.
She and her sister Gina co-founded an outdoors website more than a decade ago designed to share free resources about some of the best walking routes in the UK, including links to many of Julia’s TV programmes.
Since then the pair have worked with disabled ambassador Debbie North, a keen hill walker before she became a wheelchair user, to help create a network of wheel-friendly walks for people with poor or no mobility, and launched a charitable scheme, The Outdoor Guide Foundation, which raises funds to allow schools to get pupils outdoors in all weathers.
Writing recently in the Mail, Julia said: “What the past couple of years have taught me is that since you are a finite person in a world with almost infinite choices and possibilities, you’d be wise to prioritise those choices that serve your health and make you happy.
“For me that is walking in nature.”
Walk Yourself Happy by Julia Bradbury is published by Piatkus at £20. Tickets for her talk in Chorleywood Memorial Hall cost £12 from Chorleywood and Gerrards Cross bookshops or online.