ubu works with the people we serve to find enjoyable ways to get more active and to promote achievable health and well-being. Walking is a simple and very effective way to improve physical health and wellbeing. It can help with weight management, strengthen bones, keep our heart and lungs healthy and is inexpensive and accessible. Recent research confirms that regular short walks can have a very positive effect on mood and can help to improve memory.
Recently a group of people supported by ubu from Middlesbrough hosted a relaxing ‘Walk Around The Park’ event as part of their ‘Get Out and Get Active’ campaign.
The event was held near the lake in the centre of Albert Park in Middlesbrough on May 4th. About 35 people supported by ubu took part in the 2 mile walk. They were joined by family and friends on a lovely spring day. Everyone agreed that walking, especially in a group, is not only fun but also provided an easy way to exercise, get out and be more sociable.
The Middlesbrough walk was followed by a healthy picnic in the park bandstand. Everyone was encouraged to bring a nutritious lunch to share. It was an opportunity for the people we serve, their friends and families to enjoy a meal together. There were an amazing variety of healthy options including low-fat, low calorie quiches, vegetable rice, different types of pasta with tuna and chicken and loads of delicious salads. The feedback from participants was very enthusiastic and the group has decided to form a regular walking club.
ubu creatively supports and enables the people we serve to organise a variety of walking events and challenges across the different areas we work in. Earlier this year a walking group from Wigan launched a “Home to Rome” challenge which saw people we serve and ubu staff undertake between them to walk over 1700km, the equivalent distance of Wigan to Rome, Italy, over several weeks. Their inventive goal was to increase their health and fitness levels as a group and to support each other on to success.
In Selby, Yorkshire, a group of people served by ubu enjoyed a walk with Gavin Harding MBE who is a Town Councillor and Deputy Mayor. Mr Harding is himself a person with learning difficulties who is supported to live independently. This walk was organised so that the group could participate in the Tour De Yorkshire at the beginning of May. The bicycle race passed through Selby and was well supported by the local community as it made its way to York. The ubu walking group from Selby completed the ‘Horseshoe Walk’ which is a route around the town and had a picnic style lunch afterwards to celebrate.
The benefits of low-impact exercise like walking especially when combined with engagement and interaction of a group are becoming obvious. The people ubu serves have keenly demonstrated that getting involved in group events such as these can have many wonderful outcomes.