A recent study has found that recreational walking enjoys the highest participation rate of all methods of physical activity in Australia.
According to a survey conducted by Sports Australia, nearly 9 million Australians participate in a regular walking regime, with recreational activities [gym, swimming, running and cycling] rounding out the top five.
While walking is rarely an activity that is organised in groups, two Bathurst residents have made it their mission to keep up a weekly walking group.
Roger Hayman joined the Panorama Paces walking group in 2011 as a weekly walk around Mount Panorama, but has scaled the occasion back in recent years to a stroll along the Macquarie River.
"The group was registered through the Heart Foundation in order to raise awareness of walking's many health benefits," Mr Hayman said.
"Mount Panorama is a bit of a chore to walk when you're over 50, so we decided to move to the river for a more leisurely route."
The walking I do relieves the stresses of the day by keeping me flexible and the conversation fills me with life.Roger Thomas
Roger Thomas joined the group shortly after its inception, and said walking is a great source of fitness for the mind and body.
"Walking is a very social activity, and it's always a pleasure to greet fellow walkers on the route around the river," Mr Thomas said.
"The walking I do relieves the stresses of the day by keeping me flexible and the conversation fills me with life."
Mr Hayman and Mr Thomas meet up at 6.50am each Wednesday to carry out a 5.6 kilometre walk.
Both agree that walking is an important opportunity for men to open up vital social networks.
"It's very rare that we miss out on our weekly walk, and we find it relieving to have someone to talk to about a variety of topics," Mr Thomas said.
"I lived in a household of women and I rarely had the opportunity to regularly converse with another male, and this weekly walk has allowed me to develop a firm friendship," Mr Hayman added.