Walking football match at Active Luton

The Macmillan physical activity team spent our recent away day playing walking football against a group on the Active Luton ‘Move More’ exercise programme for people affected by cancer.

Walking football is a simple but ingenious, slow-paced adaptation of the traditional game that does not allow running or jogging. It’s harder than it sounds, or even looks; actively trying not to jog or run is difficult and the resulting brisk/power walking really gets your heart rate up!

Luton’s own former boxing champion Billy Schwer, an ambassador for the ‘Move More’ programme, was in attendance on the day and took part in the match.

Billy, himself a vocal advocate for reversing poor health through good nutrition and regular activity, said: “I feel proud to be able to support such a fantastic programme. I believe that a combination of physical, mental and nutritional health will aid prevention and recovery of any disease”

“This programme gives the tools to help people fight against cancer. You only have to look at the participants today to see the benefits that they are getting from the scheme.”

Helen Barnett, Active Luton Chief Executive, added: “The feedback on this programme has been overwhelmingly positive and is making such a difference to people’s lives.

Luton is not the only project Macmillan supports to have adopted walking football into their programme with a positive reception. The Dorset, Berkshire and Shropshire sites have successful walking football groups.

Just last week BBC News mentioned walking football as one of many unusual ways to be more active, you can read about it here: http://bbc.in/1y2Tc6O

All you need to facilitate walking football are some goals (or cones) an indoor or outdoor space, a referee and some bibs! The idea of walking can also be incorporated into other sports such as walking Netball, Walking basket ball or walking ‘touch rugby’.

Be sure to contact us and give us your thoughts if you try walking football or another adapted sport at physicalactivity@Macmillan.org.uk or on our twitter at @Macmovemore

Jantastic

Jantastic is a unique and exciting digital challenge that gives individuals and teams the structure and motivation to achieve their personal fitness, health and performance goals through the tough winter months. It’s perfect for that New Year’s resolution to add some physical activity into your lifestyle.

It’s a wonderful tool for whether you’re already an exercise junkie or just starting out with some moderate physical activity, and for the first time, Jantastic participants can set fitness targets in running, cycling and swimming (or a combination of the three) and also have the option of raising money for Macmillan via a one-off donation or by fundraising as they commit to their fitness goals.

Jantastic works across three distinct four-week blocks. Each block is about setting yourself a personal running/swimming/cycling goal and as Jantastic progresses through January, February and March so does the level of your challenge. And that’s the best part. It’s tailored to YOU and the level you are happy to start with, whether that’s walking 10 minutes or running for 30.

If you coordinate or help run a physical activity project encourage your service users to take part in Jantastic as motivation to reach their physical activity goals, whatever they are.

For more information about Jantastic head to https://www.jantastic.me/

Walking for Health

 

Enjoying a scenic walk

Enjoying a scenic walk

Walking for Health

Together the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support run Walking for Health, helping people get and stay active. By sharing our walking and health expertise, we support 600 local schemes across England to offer short, free walks. Our aim is to help more people – including those affected by cancer – to discover the joys and health benefits of walking.

The walks are easily accessible, low impact, easy, of short duration and free and you can be confident when recommending your service users to our walks as they are all led by trained volunteers and risk assessed to ensure safety.

Sarah regularly walks with Walking for Health and had this to say, “It has been one of the best things I have ever done, I feel like I have found the real me again. I am healthier, fitter, happier and more confident.”

Many of the physical activity projects we support have already linked in with their local Walking for Health scheme to offer walks as part of your programme.  If you are yet to link up with your local scheme, simply visit walkingforhealth.org.uk and use the postcode finder at the top for details of your local walks and their coordinators. Individuals can turn up to their local walk, or you could discuss the possibility of developing new walks from your project sites with the coordinators.

Outside of England there are similar health walk programmes across the UK: Paths for All in Scotland, Walking for Health in Northern Ireland and Let’s Walk Cymru in Wales. You can find out more by visiting macmillan.org.uk/walkingforhealth.

Remember we’re here to help, so please feel free to contact us on physicalactivity@macmillan.org.uk for more information.