We all love a beautiful walk in a remote location and in these times that’s what we are being advised to do once a day. However, many remote locations require travel and that’s not advised so how will our Instructors help folk to stay active without unnecessary travel or social contact?
ANSWER – They are delivering their sessions REMOTELY!
From on line coffee morning and interactive indoor exercise classes their innovation and desire to support their clients is refreshing in these isolating times
The Team at WALX HQ who train and support NWUK Instructors are also launching their HOME WALX series in the coming days! Leading presenters will be helping people walk their way to indoor fitness but with a twist (in fact a lot of twists, shakes,strength, balance and more…)
Some Instructors set up remote ‘walking group via APPS like Strava – they have set the route and the group walk it in their own time (obeying all guidelines) but share times etc
Other have sent out routes from their bank of risk assessed GPX walks. They are asking the groups to share photos or even track the route via Apps like Re Live which also lets you snap the views as you go when out alone! For the most competitive clients a leader board seems to be popular too.
Others have offered to create personalised exercise plans or a schedule of activities including fantastic ideas including recipe sharing and dietary advice . One Instructor Tracy Reeve told us she had implemented many of the ideas above and planned a schedule including these ideas for her clients:-
- Monday Mindfulness video link talking through a brief mindfulness practice
- Tone Up Tuesday – demonstration of some exercises to add to lone walks
- Photo treasure hunt on a walk – lone walkers have to find and photograph something on a walk – for example : blue flower, and post it on our club page
- Weekend challenge – using Stridekick I have set up 3 challenges for 3 different pace walks. Top of the Leaderboard wins kudos! I might do a medal
Others are making sure they support their most vulnerable clients who might be self isolating by walking past (if they live close) and giving them a wave or using the group network to ensure they have supplies. As we have a band of active people to call on we are also seeing our groups engage with other community support groups – why not get their steps in by delivering prescriptions or food?
Here’s what our walkers say about the way their Instructors have adapted to the awful times we are all experiencing ………………
“Only just picked up your email and am totally out of the loop (plus I don’t have poles anymore) But this sounds like such a good idea, is the most positive thing I have heard for ages, and is just what I need. I wonder if you could remind me how to pay for tomorrow’s walk online and would love to join you all for some walking therapy”
I can’t get to the walks because I use public transport and I miss them already so I’m thrilled you’re setting this up. I hope I can cope with the technology!
I’ll try setting it up in time for Monday’s session and let you know how I get on
Look forward to a new way of exercising
At this very difficult time for everybody I would like you to know how much we appreciate having Ian as our leader. I’ve been with MNW for 4.5 years now and I am amazed how with Ian’s instruction and unfailing enthusiasm, the level of fitness I have reached at the age of 75. 2 years ago I completed Purbeck Marathon, and I am booked on The 3 Peaks Relaxed challenge, together with a 50k walk and Hadrian’s Wall. Ian is so dedicated for all of us especially the over 70’s and others who are all on lockdown, as well as his younger clients who are being responsible citizens. To retain our levels of fitness during this time he is providing many virtual fitness activities and social chat groups. He’s a brilliant example of someone who genuinely cares for his clients and is doing a fantastic job using technology. Eileen Bicknell.
Thanks to everyone for their positive comments and for supporting your NWUK Instructors who like so many people, are struggling to make ends meet.