January is the time for New Years' Resolutions, and whether you're opting for Veganuary, Dry January, or just wanting to improve your health and fitness, there's some form of programme out there for everyone.

That's why Ribble Valley Council have once again launched their New Year fitness scheme called Stepping Out, to help those who are less active get on their feet and shed the festive pounds.

Now in its 14th year, Stepping Out promotes walking as an effective and low-risk form of physical activity for those who are inactive.

Part of East Lancashire’s interactive health and fitness scheme, Up and Active, it offers weekly walks of varying lengths and difficulty, facilitated by an enthusiastic team of over 30 specially-trained volunteers.

Stepping Out coordinator, Barrie Williams said the scheme is one of Lancashire’s most successful health programmes as it attracts over 130 weekly participants, 80 percent of whom have been attending for more than two years.

He said: "Winter can be the perfect time to walk. The invigorating cold air can clear your mind and reduce stress, while getting outside during daylight hours also increases levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin.

"Stepping Out encourages people who might not otherwise be active to enjoy the benefits of walking in a friendly, welcoming and non-competitive environment."

The programme includes short, gentle treks for people with restricted mobility, intermediate walks of around three miles, and tougher off-road trails, all taking in some of Ribble Valley’s most scenic spots.

For more information contact Barrie Williams on 01200 414484.