This Mental Health Awareness Week, we talk to Carrie Solomon about how a walking challenge and being outdoors, changed her mental and physical life for the better.
I saw One Million Steps on my friend’s Facebook page, who was supporting Livability. I hadn’t heard of Livability but I thought I’d give it a go. It was last October and I’d not long had my second daughter, Lois.
It’s really easy to sign up and I did the donation form. Livability was really helpful on how to set up my Fitbit for the Challenge – you have to download an app. They emailed me and talked me all through it. I started on 1 January and I tried to walk every day. It was really good to get the kids out. I also took on the Couch to 5k running programme, and my steps counted towards my OMS. My husband Neil would run with the double buggy and I’d run behind!
It definitely helped my mental health. What with lockdown, and being on maternity leave with two little kids, and my husband is a key worker, so he’s very busy, I was feeling quite isolated. We moved here [to Warwickshire] a year ago and I loved doing the walks and getting to know parks and places better.
It gave me a really good sense of achievement and pride, and something to focus on. When I was really tired, I still pushed myself to do it because I wanted to get it done! I lost a bit of weight and exercise just makes you feel better, doesn’t it? When we were allowed, I made it social so I walked with a friend and it’s really nice to be doing something for a charity. It made me feel great.