Strengthening confidence to get back into walking

A new programme to support people return to regular walking has started in Moray.

Stretch2Step provides gentle strength and balance exercises and short Health Walk sessions to help anyone become more confident to be more active.

Delivered by Walk Moray, a member of our Scottish Health Walk Network, the programme is going strong even through lockdown when face-to-face support and group walks are on hold due to government restrictions.

Stretch2Step can provide encouragement at a distance by sharing a home support pack and also optional weekly phone or email check-ins.

Claire Buchanan, Walk Moray Health Walk Coordinator said: “Stretch2Step is for anyone who has been advised by a health care professional to increase their levels of gentle physical activity. It may be for people who are generally sedentary and would like to get more active, cannot comfortably walk for a period of 20 mins, would like to use gentle physical activity to manage a long-term health condition or simply want to get back to regular walking but need some support to do so. 

We want to help people to gain the confidence to self-manage their own health and perhaps one day comfortably attend one of our community health walks or fulfil their own personal activity goal.

The resources in the pack include a wrist pedometer, activity and wellness tracker, Paths for All strength and balance leaflet and list of online strength and balance resources and DVD. 

If getting outside is not possible, there is plenty to be done in the home, including short strength and balance sessions and short walks around the house.

Claire added: "The weekly check-in aspect can help to encourage accountability of physical activity. Ultimately though, Stretch2Step aims to be welcoming and supportive, always working towards empowering individuals to self-manage their own health and fitness.”

Zoe Niven, one of our Senior Development Officers said:

It’s important for us all to reduce our sitting time and increase our movement wherever we can. It’s not just important for our physical strength and wellbeing, but it can really help our mental wellbeing too, especially if we can spend time outdoors while we’re moving.

We’re pleased to be able to support Walk Moray with this initiative to help those who are less active. Regular use of our strengthening and balance activities can help adults stay active and independent in later life, and by offering a home support pack and weekly check-ins as part of the programme, Walk Moray are helping residents stay connected during this difficult time.”

For more information on our Strength and Balance programme and how to order resources, click here.