Step It Up Highland
What do we do?
SIUH sets a model of encouraging the uptake of health walks to enable people in the Highlands to achieve better physical health, improve mental wellbeing, attain a healthy weight and encourage interaction by socialising with others while enjoying the beautiful natural environment we have in the Highlands.
How do we do this?
We do this by recruiting local volunteers to become trained walk leaders, enabling them to share their own passion for walking with others who are less likely to walk regularly and so to encourage joining a local SIUH walking group. We have 23 groups spread across the Highlands. All walks are free to attend and are led by trained walk leaders who will welcome and encourage new walkers.
What are our walks like?
Here at SIUH we enjoy regular health walks – mostly weekly and in ways that are accessible to those who perhaps haven’t walked for a while, are limited by health concerns or who simply wish to progress through our model of walks and then eventually move on to a local walking group, join the gym, take up other excercise or even join a mountain walking club! All walks can include an appreciation of local flora, the environment and the ever changing seasons.
Our walks can offer progression from inactive to active via our model of health walks as follows:
- Step Out - Low level walks from 10 minutes upwards. A starting point for those who are not used to regular walking, or not able to do a lot of physical activity – perhaps due to health constraints or low mood and depression. Our pace will be matched to the abilities present. There is potential to be linked into a small group, or individually to a walk leader, to encourage and support your first steps to a healthier you. Walk, enjoy the scenery, a blether and then a chance to socialise after the walk.
- Step It Up Highland (SIUH) - Moderate health walks – up to an hour in duration. Beginning with a warm up, moving on to a brisker pace (but still enjoying a chat as we walk!), and then to a slow down before stopping for any socialising that is on offer that day!
- Step It Up Further (SIUF) - We will be introducing slightly more challenging health walks that can last up to 2 hours from April 2012. There will be an increased opportunity on these walks to tackle some more challenging terrain or distance and increase fitness further. That welcome cup of tea or coffee will draw everyone in afterwards!
How can I become involved?
If you want to walk but are a bit unsure of your capability, we recommend checking the idea out with your health professional (GP or practice nurse) and if they agree it would be beneficial, simply give us a call either to the main office (contact us) or to your local walking group in our Walk Directory.
Then come along and register for your first walk. Our walk leaders will ask you to fill in a contact sheet and short walker profile sheet. Most of our walkers find that with regular friendly led walks they soon enjoy better health and often this leads to an increased awareness of other ways to improve health. So, at 6 monthly intervals you’ll be asked to comment on how things are improving for you. You may be quite surprised at what you’ve accomplished!
Many walkers themselves become walk leaders and so continue the cycle of helping others. We welcome new walkers and potential walk leaders alike, especially in areas where at present there is less activity in health walks.
So what are you waiting for? Come along and join in the fun and fun it is, just have a look at some of our photographs from our walks in our Gallery enjoying their time out together…….
Some inspirational comments from our walk leaders and walkers follow – the comments below are a few of the ones we’ve received in 2011 at our regional meetings. There is also a summarised report from the regional meetings which we hope you will find informative.
I think the comments show the range and variety of the positive experiences that can come from belonging to a health walking group, not only for the excercise but also influencing mental wellbeing and for the socialising aspect.
Click below to see
I hope that our web page can start to become more interactive with areas for contribution and discussion threads being developed for all with an interest to contribute. Thank you for checking us out!
Step It Up Highland Co-ordinator