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Take Steps helps our PR group stay active

Frankie organised a Take Steps walk with her pulmonary rehabilitation groups last year. The event gave them an opportunity to meet and chat, enjoy a walk and raise money for the British Lung Foundation. And now it’s an annual event!

I work at the Royal Berkshire Hospital as a physiotherapist delivering pulmonary rehabilitation (or PR), classes to people with long term lung conditions, among other work. After suggestions from a few people in the PR groups I run, I set up a Take Steps sponsored walk with the BLF.

People wanted an opportunity to return and meet up with friends they’d made on the course, as well as share their progress with the staff. The Take Steps sponsored walk was the perfect way to bring everyone together. It was not only encouraging them to stay active, but also raising money for the BLF’s work and research into lung disease.

Ready to walk!

Take steps walk

My colleague Laura, myself and Charlie from the British Lung Foundation events team arrived at the park in the afternoon to find over 30 people ready to walk! Those who had completed the PR programme had come along with a mixture of friends and family to enjoy a sunny walk and raise money.

We walked 1.5km around Palmer Park in Reading, all at our own pace. The location is perfect as the paths are well marked, wide and sheltered by trees. Plus, there are plenty of benches for rest stops where needed.

After the walk we met in the park’s café where people were able to catch up with familiar faces, share stories and meet new people in similar situations. Most importantly we managed to raise £873 for the BLF’s work!

Getting active is so important

Take steps walk

For people with long term lung conditions, being active is vital. It has so many physical benefits, including reducing breathlessness, increasing muscle strength, improving sleep and decreasing high blood pressure or cholesterol.

So many of our course members say that it helps with their mental health as well. With benefits including reducing anxiety and depression and increasing confidence.

Each time we run a PR programme we see great results in terms of improved mental and physical health. And those who can continue regular exercise afterwards are able to maintain these benefits long term.

Taking steps every year!

We tried to ensure our walking event was achievable for all fitness levels. Everyone could walk at their own pace and didn’t need any specific skills. The feedback we received was great, probably helped by the sunny day and the cake we enjoyed afterwards! It was great for family and friends to see what their loved ones can achieve. As staff we found it so inspiring to see some of the previous completers still maintaining regular exercise.

We definitely plan to make our Take Steps walk an annual event. As more and more people complete our pulmonary rehab programme we hope the walk will grow bigger each year. It’s such a lovely way for people to keep in touch with those they met during the programme and continue to exercise.

I think if you can organise a Take Steps walk, it’s definitely worth it. It helps bring people together, encourages exercise for those with lung conditions, and most importantly raises money for the BLF and the fight against lung disease!

Want to organise your own Take Steps walk?

Find out more about Take Steps and how you can set up your own walk.

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9 March 2020