Council launches new Step Challenge Programme

22nd September 2020

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA), is encouraging people who currently take little or no exercise to sign up to its new Step Challenge programme.

The free 12-week programme, which is part of the Making Life Better framework of Empowering Healthy Living,  aims to help people make positive changes to their lifestyle by getting active, getting out and about and taking more steps every day.  

To help participants reach their goals, weekly organised walks, lasting one hour, will take place at Omagh Leisure Complex commencing Wednesday 23 September 2020 at 7.30pm. Each walk will be led by a fully qualified walk leader. Participants upon completion of the programme will receive a free hoodie.  

Speaking about the forthcoming programme, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Chris Smyth, said; 

“For those who currently take little or no exercise, taking the first step to getting active is quite often the most difficult. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is delighted to be, once again, working in partnership with the Public Health Agency to deliver the Step Challenge programme aimed at encouraging residents to lead a more active lifestyle thereby contributing to an improvement in their physical and mental health and well-being.”  

Colette Brolly, the PHA lead for physical activity, said“By measuring the steps we take, we can see what our current step count is and track how we can improve it over time. This can be done by simply building extra activity into our everyday lives, such as going for a walk with the dog, getting off the bus one stop early, or walking instead of driving to the shops. 

“Research has shown that setting yourself a target and tracking your progress can significantly increase levels of physical activity. 

“Walking groups can be a good  way to get started and it’s also a great way to make friends who can keep you motivated. Walking is one the simplest forms of activity and being more active has many benefits; helping maintain your weight, reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions including some cancers and Type 2 diabetes, as well as reducing anxiety and stress. Being physically active helps us age well and reduces the risk of falls and fractures.” 

Places on the programme are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  

For further information regarding the Step Challenge and to register please complete the online application form or contact Chris Elliott, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, by telephone on 0300 303 1777 (all calls charged at local rate), textphone on 028 8225 6216 or by email at chris.elliott@fermanaghomagh.com.