Lisa, who has Down’s syndrome, joined the Amesbury Amblers Walking for Health scheme in 2014. Lisa had problems with her heart and her weight, and was dependent on family members for everyday tasks and social interaction. But walking has transformed Lisa – she’s happier, healthier and has recently become a walk leader.
Lisa first joined the Amesbury Amblers’ new starter walk in February 2014. The slower pace and frequent pauses are perfect for Lisa, enabling her to interact with the other walkers and get the most out of the walk, while building her fitness at a pace she can manage.
Lisa’s mum Wendy explains: “The new starter walk is great because it enables everyone to join in. No one is segregated or left out, and there’s always the faster group to move onto.
"Fitness is defined as good mental, social and physical health, so this enables those with lower levels of fitness to join in and build up all these aspects of fitness.”
Three years later, Lisa’s health has really improved – she’s lost three and a half stone, is taking on longer walks and has started swimming.
She’s also grown in confidence – quickly establishing herself as a key member of the group; gaining many friends and increasing her independence so much that she recently decided to become a walk leader.
Lisa successfully completed her walk leader training in October 2016 and has been leading walks ever since.
Lisa told us: “It makes me happy that I can help and lead other people.”
Wendy added: “Lisa is much more independent now. She walks down with me to meet everyone at the start of the walk, and I rarely see her until it’s time to go home again.
“If you’re the parent of a person with Down’s syndrome and you think they might enjoy walking, go and join in. it doesn’t matter what their fitness level is, it’s something to enjoy and a great chance to interact with others.”
Find your nearest group walk here.