Residents across County Durham are being encouraged to share their thoughts and insights into becoming active and staying active.
Durham County Council has launched a consultation to understand how it can work with residents to better enable them to move more in their everyday life.
Moving Together in County Durham is a developing strategy to help residents lead more active, healthier and happier lives.
The council wants to empower people to take their first steps towards moving more, as well as supporting communities to work together so that everyone can take advantage of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
Cllr Chris Hood, Cabinet member for adults and health, said: “We know that being more active helps to improve our physical and mental health. It can lead to improved confidence, make us feel happier and even helps us to form better bonds with family and friends when we exercise with others.
“Unfortunately, we also know that the pandemic has resulted in many people being less active than they used to be. We’re determined to reverse this to make sure residents have access to a range of opportunities which will support them in living a long and healthy life. We’d therefore like to ask anyone who is struggling to make more active choices, or who doesn’t know where to start their fitness journey, to share their ideas about how we can provide more support.”
The council has already started engaging with groups and organisations that offer ways to stay active and is now planning to talk to children, older people, those with health conditions and disabilities, as well as those who want a fresh start to find out what would help.
People have until Monday 5 December to take part in the consultation by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/consultation
There are many ways for residents to add movement into their daily life, with activities in the home and the community available to meet everyone’s needs.
The council also offers a number of schemes to help people improve their health and fitness through walking, running and cycling while taking advantage of the stunning scenery on offer in County Durham.
There are almost 2,200 miles of recorded Public Rights of Way across the county, as well as hundreds of kilometres of bridleways, byways, railway paths to explore.
Alongside increased infrastructure and a growing number of cycle lanes, these routes offer residents a great opportunity to improve their health and fitness, or their journey to and from school or work.
As well as advice on where to walk, run and cycle, Walk Durham offers a variety of group walks to suit everyone, from beginners up to the experienced rambler, and is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated.
Those with long-term health conditions or limited mobility can find a range of supportive activities through the authority’s We are Undefeatable programme.
Those wishing to save money and stay healthy can also take advantage of a free bike loan scheme available across County Durham.
The council’s Borrow a Bike scheme offers three months’ complimentary bike hire for the journey to and from work, as well as helmets, equipment and free training and support to those who want to develop their skills and confidence.
To find out more about the Borrow a Bike scheme or to sign up, visit www.durham.gov.uk/borrowabike