“If you want to get well, get walking”
That’s what clients of the NHS Physiotherapy team will tell you after joining the short weekly health walks at Stirling Community Hospital.
“I was there not that many weeks ago and I thought I wouldn’t manage this walk, but the Walk Leaders have been so patient with me and I am now starting to build up my confidence and increase my fitness levels. I can manage the short walk no bother now.”
These short health walks were set up in partnership with the local health walk project, Stirling Walking Network with the desire to provide a welcoming, supportive walk for older, frailer adults in the community and for patients of the NHS Rehabilitation Hub. They now have 25 regular walkers and the walks have become Dementia Friendly.
A key element to this walks success is the cuppa in the Stirling Community Hospital RVS café after. As well as some important social time this is an opportunity for the walkers to encourage others attending the Rehabilitation Hub Strength & Balance classes to join them. By seeing people just like them take part in short, supportive walks, it increases their confidence to give it a try.
The dedicated Walk Leaders not only lead the walks week in week out, but they celebrate walkers’ birthdays and organise socials. One client said “I wouldn’t miss my Monday walk for anything.” This gives you a hint of the fun and camaraderie of the groups which for many of the clients who live alone, this is a lifeline both physically and socially.
Health walks are fun, accessible, low level walks, led by trained volunteers who create a supportive environment for anyone ready to enjoy the many benefits of being physically active. With over 550 weekly health walks taking place across Scotland you’re never too far from a health walk, and the simplest way you can get involved is to encourage the people you support to join us. You can find your nearest walk here
Paths for All’s health walk projects want to make links with you and bespoke initiatives like the project in Stirling could be replicated all over Scotland. Just get in touch to explore the options, either locally, or with staff at Paths for All