Whether you’re a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person, winter is the time of year the days just keep getting shorter and the season seems endless. But, before you know it, the daffodils will be out and spring will have sprung.

Deciding whether to get involved with walking sports is a bit like that, too. On the one hand, it seems like a lot of effort, and for what tangible reward? On the other though, it could be the making of you. It’s time to put that spring back in your step.

It all comes down to goals and aspirations. Ask yourself what the driving force behind heading to your local walking football or netball group is. It could be one, or a variety of reasons, like the following:

To overcome illness or injury

Maybe you’ve been unwell or suffered a recent injury, so your goal is to find rehabilitation through sport. Finding a team sport that suits you is a lot more fun than battling through rehab on your own. So many of the other people that you’ll meet through walking sports will have been there and got the t-shirt. Their understanding, empathy and support will help speed up that recovery process enormously.

To bond with your grandchildren

If you’re lucky enough to have grandchildren, perhaps you’d like to show them - and remind yourself - that once upon a time you could dribble through defences like there was no tomorrow.

To improve your physical and mental health

Not only does walking sports get you active, but it will make you feel good too. If you’re in need of a confidence boost, physical activity can lift your spirits and reinvigorate the soul.

You might feel selfish setting purely personal goals, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Walking sports can act as a positive therapy for the mind and body, which is why they’re growing at such a rate around the country.

To meet like-minded people

Perhaps you’d just like to meet some new people with similar interests and make friends for life. A dark winter’s day can be lonely, but it can be an awful lot brighter when it’s shared with others, doing an activity that you love.

To support the community – or start your own

As we grow older, the desire to give back to the community gets stronger. Remembering how others offered their help and guidance in our younger years fuels our desire to make a difference wherever we possibly can. That’s why starting up a walking sports group, or helping to run and administer one, is a hugely worthwhile ambition to have. And, it can be incredibly rewarding.

Elsewhere on this website, you can hear from people who’ve done just that. The enthusiasm and passion they hold for what they’ve been able to achieve is genuinely inspirational. Just remember that that could be you. That could be any one of us.

So, what’s the endgame here? It’s not about personal bests or changing the world. We are talking about making small but consistent improvements in our physical and mental health, and considering that a success. Taking up walking sports can help you feel better, sleep better, and live better.

And if you do decide you’d like to get involved with your local group, do it with those who you’ll be helping in mind. Maybe they don’t have the same drive that you do, but you can make a genuine difference to their lives.

Make winter a glass half-full time of the year. It’s a time to set new targets. Don’t just stay at home because it’s dark and miserable, find a bit of self-motivation and go out to make new friends to have a coffee with. You could even add them to your Christmas card list. Lots of us set a New Year’s resolution in January, so think about yours now. Why not get ahead of the game? You’ll feel so much better for it.