Get walking…that's the way to start  improving your quality of life, older people in Balallan were advised recently.

NHS Western Isles’ Health Promotion Department was delighted to accept an invitation to attend the ‘Cairdean Cordail Ceann a Loch’ older people’s group in Balallan recently.

Karen Peteranna, Health Practitioner at NHSWI, discussed the UK physical activity guidelines for adult and older adults and the many benefits of physical activity such as improved sleep, helping to maintain a healthy weight, managing stress, and improving quality of life.

Walking was promoted with the group as a simple way to increase physical activity; most people can join in, there is no cost to taking part and you don’t need special equipment. 

You can also start off small and increase your pace and distance walked over time.

The importance of strength and balance exercises for adults and older adults was highlighted with the group. 

Undertaking exercises that improve your strength and balance on two days each week can help older adults stay active and independent in everyday life and reduce the risk of falls.

Karen also shared information on the ‘Walk on Hebrides’ Health Walks project and planned developments with this project across the islands, including the provision of Walk Leader training courses and the creation of new local Health Walks in communities across the Outer Hebrides.

A Health Walk is a free, short, social, local, low-level, led walk which can be anything from 10 minutes to 60 minutes long – depending on the ability of the group.

A good way to end a Health Walk is with a cuppa and a blether!

Pictured are members of the Cairdean Cordial Ceann a Loch group following their visit and talk by Karen Peteranna, NHSWI Health Practitioner