walk

Nearly half (48 per cent) of UK adults are taking fewer steps since lockdown started, according to a Censuswide poll of 2,023 UK adults, and charity Guide Dogs is encouraging everyone to walk more for a good cause. 

“Walking up and down the stairs at home”, “taking multiple laps of the garden” or setting a target to reach within the UK’s daily outdoor exercise allowance are just some of the ways Guide Dogs is encouraging people to take more steps safely during lockdown as part of ‘Walk Your Socks Off’, which is running throughout May to support the vision impaired community.

Now the charity is asking participants to set their own target number of steps for a chosen week in May

Anica Zeyen, a guide dog owner and Guide Dogs volunteer, said, “Four and a half years ago my life changed when I met my amazing guide dog Lassie for the very first time. She has given me back independence and confidence to venture out on my own. 

“I’m aiming to walk 70,000 steps during a week in May for Walk Your Socks Off. It’s roughly double what I would do in a normal work week. Doing that while on lockdown will be an added challenge! I will do our daily exercise outside with Lassie and then top it up with indoor walks around the house and garden and probably a few Zumba workouts!

“Guide Dogs does great work and obviously they can’t do their normal fundraising at this time, so I wanted to at least try and do something – plus it gives me and Lassie something to do!”

A Piedi, Fitness, Ragazza, Alba, Caduta, All'Aperto

Last year, the target was 100,000 steps in a week, matching the average number of steps a Guide Dogs trainer makes every week.  Now the charity is asking participants to set their own target number of steps for a chosen week in May, based on their level of fitness and personal circumstances and also considering the safety of participants and others. 

Beth Marsh, Fundraising Special Projects Manager at Guide Dogs, said, “Raising vital funds for charity during these challenging times can motivate people to do more exercise, so we’re encouraging people to keep moving and take more steps to support people with sight loss.

It’s important for everyone taking part to follow the latest government guidance on coronavirus to ensure their safety if going outside forms part of their step challenge. 

“This year we’ve adapted our Walk Your Socks Off challenge to recognise and respect the changes people are rightly making during lockdown. Despite the constraints, we’re delighted that more than 30,000 people are planning to take part to raise donations and are grateful to all participants, particularly given the challenges faced by lots of charities during this difficult time.”

It’s important for everyone taking part to follow the latest government guidance on coronavirus to ensure their safety if going outside forms part of their step challenge. 

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