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Popular Walking Scheme Launches Winter Programme

Stepping out winter 2016
IN STEP – Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Stepping Out coordinator Barrie Williams
Published Tuesday, 11 October 2016

An award-winning walking scheme that helps Ribble Valley residents take strides in health and fitness has launched its 2016 winter programme.

Stepping Out was set up in 2004 to promote walking as an effective and low-risk form of physical activity for those who are inactive.

Started with a handful of volunteers and two treks a week, it now offers a bustling programme of weekly walks of varying lengths and difficulty facilitated by an enthusiastic team of over 30 specially-trained volunteer walk leaders.

It attracts over 130 weekly participants, 80 per cent of who have been attending Stepping Out for over two years.

Stepping Out coordinator Barrie Williams said: “Winter can be the perfect time to walk. The invigorating cold air can clear your mind and reduce stress, while getting outside during daylight hours also increases levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin.

“You don’t have to be fit to walk and the elderly, as well as those recovering from illness, can enjoy it – and it’s free.

“Stepping Out encourages people who might not otherwise be active to enjoy the benefits of walking in a friendly, welcoming and non-competitive environment.

“It is now one of Lancashire’s most successful health programmes and we are delighted that it is going from strength to strength.

“I would like to thank our team of dedicated and hard-working volunteers for helping to make the scheme such a success.”

Stepping Out’s winter programme includes short, gentle treks for residents with restricted mobility, intermediate walks and tougher off-road trails, all taking in some of Ribble Valley’s most scenic spots. 

Stepping Out has recently been incorporated into East Lancashire’s new interactive health and fitness scheme, Up and Active.

Further information and a Stepping Out programme are available from Barrie Williams on 01200 414484.

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