With the kids breaking up from school and a long summer stretching ahead with fewer opportunities to travel abroad for the holidays, Help for Heroes have devised a new fundraising challenge, Step 2 It, that could be just the thing to motivate families to get up, get out and get moving. Simply by reaching a step target every day for 30 days you can help support wounded and sick veterans and their families – while helping your own mental and physical wellbeing.
With Step 2 It, you can easily adjust the suggested 10,000 steps a day to a lower or higher number to suit your own fitness levels and the time available every day that you want to allocate to stepping. You track your steps using a Fitbit, or through the Strava or Runkeeper apps, or can enter them manually using other devices such as a pedometer, smartphone app or fitness tracker. This also means that people with disabilities can take on Step 2 It by selecting a ‘steps equivalent’ distance to record doing the challenge in a wheelchair.
While exercise is well documented as a way to better manage our mental health, the stresses of life during the pandemic seems to have left many people feeling stressed and with less time or inclination to exercise. Help for Heroes has carried out *research among wounded, injured and sick veterans, serving personnel and families which reveals that 56% of this group are doing less exercise than normal since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 39% saying that they don’t feel motivated to exercise. This is despite the fact that 65% of respondents find exercise is something they can use to manage stress and anxiety.
Signing up to Step 2 it is easy to do at Step2It.helpforheroes.org.uk and it’s simple to get sponsors to support your challenge. With the majority of its fundraising events being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Help for Heroes hopes that Step 2 It will start plugging its expected 40% deficit in forecasted income this year, while giving people an opportunity to get fit in a fun way.
Hannah Lawton, Sports Recovery Manager at Help for Heroes, says,” Sport and exercise are massively important for many of the sick and wounded veterans that we support. Not just to help their physical wellbeing but to improve mental health. It can be a great way to re-motivate yourself after injury or illness and help you realise you can still do the things you love.”
Over the past few months, many people have found solace in exercising and keeping fit. But like many of our veterans, there are also those who have felt demotivated because of concerns and worries caused by the coronavirus, even though we all know that exercise makes us feel better. Our hope is that Step 2 It will give anyone and everyone across the UK a goal to work to – either to motivate them to get back into exercise, or a reason to keep up new habits formed. By taking this big step for themselves, they won’t just be helping wounded and sick veterans, but will be doing themselves a favour too.”
*About the Help for Heroes Research: * Based on 312 responses to a survey carried out by Help for Heroes in May 2020 of wounded, injured and sick veterans, serving personnel and families who answered questions around the amount of exercise they had undertaken since the COVID-19 pandemic began to understand how their support needs may have changed.
About Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes supports those with injuries and illnesses sustained during or attributable to their service in the British Armed Forces, and their families. No matter when someone served, Help for Heroes believes that those prepared to put their lives second, deserve a second chance at life. Every course and activity the charity offers aims to empower them to look beyond illness and injury, regain their purpose, reach their potential and have a positive impact on society. For more information, visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk.