Walking is a tried and tested route to fitness and as a non-driver it is something I do every day, so when I heard about Walk Innovation, a community wellbeing project in St Albans, I wasn’t exactly sure what it could do for me but was curious to find out.

Hence, one bright, autumn afternoon I met Adam Shaw in Verulamium Park, an infectiously upbeat person who has spent the last two years creating Walk Innovation.

Adam, who lives and grew up in the city, tells me he started work aged 16 and has been a waiter, chef, merchant banker, fitness instructor and a nurse. He also studied reiki and other alternative therapies before developing what he calls “walkshops”, a combination of healthy exercise and positive thinking.

Adam leads small groups of individuals, usually in threes, so that each participant can take on a particular role. He explains how one person is the questioner, one takes on the role of the observer and one answers questions – I opt for the latter.

"The walks reflect our life," says Adam, "They start in the comfort zone and during the course of the walk, the questions become easier to answer and you discover what needs to be done and set about bridging the gap towards doing it."

As we set off across the park kicking through the leaves, Adam tells me as how Walk Innovation exercises the mind and body simultaneously. By the time he begins the questioning process we have set up a pace and rhythm so I can focus on my answers, though I am reticent to say too much.

“Statistically," says Adam, "it’s been proven that people don’t usually focus on the positive side of life. Try and keep this in mind as we walk.”

“Tell me what you love?”, he asks.

At first, being asked such a personal question makes me a bit self-conscious but before long I get into the stride of responding without analysis and my answers come in tune with the rhythm of our movement as we walk along. I can’t explain what happens next but I suddenly steer our threesome off towards some molehills. I explain how moles dredge up important artefacts and begin sifting through a freshly excavated mound to see what I can find. I apologise for what my companions may see as strange behaviour but Adam is quick to reassure me that a walk will lead where it wants.

“Walk Innovation involves walking, talking, connecting and being in the moment. I learn something new every time,” he tells me. “I’ll walk wherever the group want to go. One man just wanted to walk to the pub and chat over a beer.”

Then it’s time to swap roles and Pippa, the staff photographer I roped in to be our observer, gets to enthuse about what she enjoys in life. Aquariums, pets, children, books and men are all thrown into the mix. Pippa now knows about my deep love of fondue, which she says she could practically taste from my description and I can picture her walking her future dog, Rufus.

After our respective question and answer sessions we gave each other feedback which further enhanced the sense of sharing and being able to hear someone else's encouragement for your enthusiasms is very uplifting.

Afterwards, it felt as though Pippa and I shared more in 15 minutes of Walk Innovation than in two years working together and Adam felt like an old and trusted friend. It’s a refreshing and unique experience – you might even say it walks wonders.

Details: /www.walkinnovation.com