Leicestershire AIDS Support Services volunteers who help people with living with or affected by HIV are hoping to win a health challenge by clocking up the most time spent walking.
An eight-strong group of staff, volunteers and people who use our services have entered the NHS’s healthy heart walking competition, backed by the Leicester Mercury.
They are one of 12 teams across the city who are taking part in the contest – and say they are determined to be the top performers by the end of the month.
Celia Fisher, our Sexual Health Promotion Co-ordinator said: “I think it is a great idea. It really motivates people and means you have an incentive to do something. There is also the sense of achievement – often sportsmen are only recognised when they are high achieving. This is about everyone being able to achieve something.”
The idea behind the challenge, set by the primary care trust NHS Leicester City and Leicester City Council, is to encourage people to get out and about this summer.
The challenge gets participants to keep a record of the number of minutes and hours walked. Prizes are awarded to the teams and individuals who have walked for the most time. The NHS is also using the challenge to raise awareness of the dangers of developing heart disease.
So far, our walkers have clocked up 162 hours 43 minutes and are in third place on a league table of teams who have logged the most minutes.
However, it is still more than 130 hours behind the top team.
Celia added: “We are determined to get to the top of leader board by the end of the month. Most days I walk to work, which is two-and-a-half miles each way, and it is quite a joy. I try out different routes and you see the same people to say hello to, so it is also quite a social thing.
“At LASS, we also have a walking group which meets once a month and includes staff, our volunteers and people who use our services. We are now definitely going to try and get to the top of the leader board by the end of the month.”
Deb Watson, director of public health and health improvement for NHS Leicester City and Leicester City Council, said: “It’s really positive to see people in the city using their initiative and setting up their own walking groups. Whether it’s a walk around your local park or a hike across the countryside, 30 minutes of exercise every day could really help towards preventing health problems like heart disease, diabetes and stroke in later life.”
For more information on taking part in the contest, visit: