Steps to Health group bounce into 2022 by completing Active January challenge
03 February 2022
A group taking part in Derry City and Strabane District Council's Step to Health programme have said they are bouncing in 2022 with a spring in their step after completing a challenge to be active for every day of January.
GP Referral Coach at Council, Colleen Brown, set the target for the group who signed up to the programme to become healthier and fitter through physical activity.
The programme is an eight week course where candidates are guided through a tailored training regime to improve their overall well being and fitness.
It aims to build up a base level of fitness and give candidates the advice and knowledge to continue their fitness journey themselves.
"The group train at Brooke Park and Templemore Sports Complex and we decided it was the ideal way for them to start the year as they mean to continue and reap the health benefits of physical activity," she said.
"They didn't have to visit the gyms or swimming pool every day, they just had to get moving each day be it by walking, dancing, cycling or any activity that would increase their heart rate.
"The group have grown very close over the month and kept in contact through a whatsapp group where they could encourage each other and share their daily exercise."
Three of the group, Emma Bond, Jenny Coyle and Declan Thompson are part of a Health and Wellbeing group Yellow Wood Consultancy Ltd who help develop mental wellbeing programmes within the local community through Clarendon Medical Practise.
"We knew each other from a previous project and we all felt ready at the same time to begin our physical well being journey as we finally felt mentally strong with the support of each other," explained Emma.
"The pandemic knocked a lot of people out of their routines and many of us became more sedentary so this has been an ideal way to get us back on the path to fitness and back socialising again."
Jenny added: "It's become easier each week to exercise as you feel yourself getting fitter which adds to the enjoyment .
"I love dancing so I've been doing a lot of that and I was able to create a playlist to share with the group to dance or workout to."
Declan said the programme has allowed him to rediscover his love for swimming.
"I had started to reach a good level of fitness but that fell away during the pandemic and this group has given me my sense of purpose back," he said.
"It's given me the inspiration I needed to get back into the swimming pool, I was in at 7.15am this morning swimming before work which I intend to keep doing when the programme ends."
For further details on the services and programmes available at Derry City and Strabane District Council visit derrystrabane.com/leisure.