Case Study - Walker

For the purposes of this case study the walker wished to remain anonymous -  the walker will be referred to as Alana.

Alana has been with Springwell Stroller / Striders since August 2010 and as our memory recalls has only missed one walk since that first week.

Before starting the walking group Alana would describe herself as very inactive, doing no activity at all - “I would regularly jump on and off buses”.

Coming along to the group for the first time was quite a big decision.  Alana had concerns over joining an established group and if she would be welcomed or not. First impressions of the group were that it was well organised and she found the walk leaders to be very friendly and outgoing. Due to being quite inactive, being able to walk at her own pace was a concern.  On discovering there was a Striders and Strollers group she was quickly put at ease. 

“Initially I started as a stroller and appreciated the support from other walkers in the group – being shown to that bus stop by others in the group in the first week was really nice – the first 40 minutes had been long enough so knowing I could go with support was great”.

Although it was a few months ago Alana recalls feeling a great sense of achievement after that first walk. There was a significant improvement in mood and this is something that has continued to improve.

“This psychological lift from exercise was unexpected so was great when it happened”.

Now a regular walker Alana continues to benefit from regular activity

“exercise is so important............ I can sometimes feel a little down and I feel it really helps to lift my mood”.

The benefits of attending the group for Alana do not stop there.  The social aspect of the group is very important, before the group she felt slightly isolated, “being able to come along and chat to others is fantastic”. The social benefits do not end on a Tuesday afternoon.

“I regularly meet people in the street from the group and stop to have a chat”

Another aspect Alana finds important is seeing so much of the city and finding new parts that she did not know existed. Alana feels attending the group has given her a more positive outlook.   Before starting the group she was worried about retirement and getting older. Alana has found coming along and speaking to some of the older members inspirational.

“Now rather than being worried about growing older I am looking forward to it”.

Walking has helped Alana to get more active in many ways. Instead of taking the bus to and from Princes Street, she will make sure she walks at least one way. At the weekends she makes sure she goes out for at least 45 minutes rather than sitting about. Again, she states this has a positive effect on her mood. Alana has now found other great ways of getting more active. She now regularly attends dance classes, tai chi and yoga.

Last Reviewed: 06/09/2011