The #JogIntoJanuary campaign running across Derbyshire this New Year hopes to break down the barriers that prevent people from regularly getting active.
#JogIntoJanuary will provide support to complete beginners, who often believe they are not fit enough, are too embarrassed or do not have enough time.
Participants can choose from a host of groups up and down the county, from the High Peak in the north to Derby City and South Derbyshire in the south.
The project is part of the JOG Derbyshire programme, run in partnership with Derbyshire Sport, that has already helped more than 4,000 people get on the move.
JOG Derbyshire co-ordinator Cat Wynne said: “Plenty of our members could not walk upstairs or run 30 yards without getting out of breath, were overweight and preferred the sofa rather than trying to be active, when they first started.”
“But those who give it a go soon realise that they aren’t judged and it isn’t a race. They are among like-minded people and aren’t the odd one out.”
“There’s soon a realisation that getting together with others for what begins as walking interspersed with light jogging is actually fun, makes them feel good about themselves, gives them some ‘me’ time and helps them make new friends.”
All #JogIntoJanuary sessions are low cost or free and are led by qualified jog leaders, who provide step-by-step instruction, from walking and first running steps to jogging a first 5k.
Those who successfully attend for 10 weeks get a certificate to highlight their progress and those who go on to complete a parkrun or 5k event also get a medal.
“Joining my local Jog into January has been one of the best decisions I have made for my health and wellbeing,” said Deirdre Phelan, from the Jog Duffield group.
“With small children, getting to a gym regularly was impossible, but #JogIntoJanuary taught me to jog, and gave me the confidence to run, something I thought I could never do.”
In Amber Valley ‘Jog Into January’ sessions are available here:
Alfreton Jog Club (Mondays 7pm), All About Jogging, The Amber Ladies (Tuesdays, 9.30am), Ripley Absolute Beginners (Sundays 9am), Jog Belper, Jog Crich, Jog Duffield (Saturdays 9.30am; Mondays 7.15pm).
For full details and to see the full list of where you can get involved, go to: www.derbyshiresport.co.uk/news/2016/12/no-racing-no-pressure-no-judgement