Confidence Grows in New Walking Classes

People who want to start moving or have long-term health conditions in Stockport are building up their belief and activity levels thanks to new Confidence Walks

Confidence Grows in New Walking Classes

Building on the success of Brinnington and Avondale leisure centre classes, which see steady numbers of 30 people attending weekly, the council and its partners Life Leisure and Age UK Stockport are launching three new sessions this week:

• Mondays, 1pm to 2pm at Offerton Community Centre, Mallowdale Road, Stockport, SK2 5NX.
• Thursdays, 1.30pm to 2.30pm at Bramhall Village, Melbourne Road, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 1LR.
• Fridays, 11.30am to 12.30pm at Woodley Civic Hall, Hyde Road, Woodley, Stockport SK6 1QG.

The walks bring people in the local community together to get more active in a social setting with many attendees experiencing a health challenge such as cancer, respiratory conditions, heart disease, or musculoskeletal issues.
The walks have proved a big success with attendees enjoying the safe and supportive environment and the chance to have a chat and a brew with other walkers.

Patrick, who has chronic back pain, comes to the walk with his visually impaired wife Margaret who appreciated the indoor space as there were no obstacles in her path.

Both Patrick and Margaret said that the walks are helping them to get more physically active and both have since taken up additional activities like swimming and using the gym. Another walker, Pat, had recently had a hip replacement and was using the walk to help in her recovery.

Many participants also took part in the Town of Culture Stockport Moves event last summer. The Move to a mile programme was developed to help the least active residents get moving in an eight-week programme including weekly walking and culminating in the Stockport mile.

They supported each other through the training walks and encouraged each other on the day, with everyone being able to complete the mile; something far beyond them just weeks before.

Lisa Arrandale, Active Communities lead for Life Leisure said:
“We have seen people grow in confidence and progress in their levels of fitness and desire to do more walking, and as a result we offer monthly Saturday Wellness Walks that are more challenging. This year, each Saturday walk will increase in difficulty and length as we hope to take a group to Kinder Scout in June, which will be a major milestone for many who started in the Confidence walk sessions.”
The Wellness Walks take part on the first Saturday of each month and are between 2- 3 hours in duration, with the opportunity to stay on after the walk for a drink or food. The walks are led by three qualified walk leaders. The next walk is on Saturday Jan 13th starting at Etherow Country Park.

Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport
“Providing safe, supportive indoor walks can help make a huge difference to the health and happiness of people in Stockport who are inactive or have disabilities or long-term conditions. Walking is the easiest and most accessible way to get people moving more and it’s great that we can bring these benefits to even more residents with the launch of the new sessions.”

Inspired by Stockport's successes, the Active Lifestyle Team at Salford Community Leisure has begun offering Confidence Walks at their network of leisure centres.

For more information on the walks available visit Age UK Stockport.