Fitness Initiative Sees Locals Reach 'The Moon'

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People across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have successfully logged enough miles to get to the moon, as part of a fitness initiative spearheaded by the University of Worcester.

Designed to encourage local people to participate in more physical activity, the ‘Moon Mission’ was launched in March, with the ambitious target of inspiring people to log 477,714 miles – the distance to the moon and back.

The first part of that goal was met last week, after miles logged by the Kidderminster Stride and Stroll group took the total past 238,857, and effectively landed the mission on the moon.

The Stride and Stroll group was founded at Kidderminster Hospital in 2002 by Sally Blowing, Senior Nurse in Cardiac Rehabilitation, as part of the Government’s Walking for Health Initiative. The original purpose of the group was to provide ongoing exercise for those heart patients who had completed their period of rehabilitation.

Nowadays, Stride and Stroll is one of the largest walking organisations in the Midlands, welcoming participants from all sectors of the community who wish to improve their health and fitness and make new friends.

Louise Jones, Director of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Worcester, says: “It is wonderful that the Moon Mission has captured the imagination of so many groups and individuals across the region.

“Our aim was to help more people get fit and active, which in turn will boost their energy levels, reduce the risk of serious health conditions and improve both their physical and mental wellbeing. The fact that we have seen so many miles logged is fantastic, and will hopefully inspire even more people to get active.”

The Moon Mission has seen the University work in partnership with a number of local organisations across Worcestershire and Herefordshire, including the County Councils, Chamber of Commerce, Age UK, the Sports Partnership and Community First in order to engage not just those who already take part in sport or exercise, but also members of the community who are less physically active or socially isolated.