Staff at North Yorkshire County Council are starting a bike-a-thon today in the run up to Sports Relief.
Sport Relief is the weekend, every two years, when the British public can get active, have fun and raise cash to help people living incredibly tough lives both in the UK and around the world.
Sport Relief will take place from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 March this weekend with hundreds of events across the UK to suit all abilities.
The theme this year is ‘do yourself proud’ and that’s just what staff at North Yorkshire County Council are doing today (Tuesday 15 March), with Richard Webb, Corporate Director of Health and Adult services, leading the bike-a thon. A number of staff will be aiming to cycle the equivalent of the width of the County (approximately 100 miles) on exercise bikes to raise money for Sports Relief.
“Our priority is for people to stay healthier and active in their communities for longer” said Richard Webb. “North Yorkshire is a beautiful and varied county and provides many opportunities for people to take up cycling or walking or others games and sports. Sports Relief provides every chance for people to get involved at all levels.”
Richard was raced to the finish by colleague Jonathan Prince, commissioning officer in Health and Adult Services. Jonathan said: “I’m keen on exercise but I’ve not cycled for a long time so this was a real struggle for me. But it’s great to get started and be alongside lots of people involved in a good cause.”
Whilst Sports Relief is all about raising money for a great cause, it’s also a good way for people to fit some physical activity into the week.
It is recommended that adults have 150 minutes of moderate activity (raised heart rate, feeling warmer) per week, which can be broken down into sessions as short as ten minutes, plus two sessions of strengthening exercise, which can include tasks such as gardening or carrying the shopping. Alternatively, or as well as, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week (breathing fast, can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath), is also advised.
The Sports Relief Games are encouraging people to walk, swim or cycle themselves proud, and all of these activities are great ways to incorporate physical activity into daily life. By increasing the amount of time people are active, they are helping to ward off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It can also help to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety and help people get a good night’s sleep.
Being physically active doesn’t have to be a chore and can be built into daily routines – whether it’s taking the stairs, biking to work or taking the dog out for a walk in the evening instead of watching the TV.
“The Sports Relief Games are a fun way of encouraging people to walk, swim, cycle or take up other activities – all in a good cause” said County Councillor Clare Wood, Executive Member for Adults Social Care and Health Integration and chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.
“Being physically active doesn’t have to be a chore and can be built into people’s daily routine – whether it’s taking the stairs instead of lifts; walking or biking to work or taking the dog out for a walk in the evening instead of watching the TV. Taking up an activity for Sports Relief is a good time to start.”
For more information about the benefits of physical activity visit the NHS website: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx For more information about Sports Relief activities.