A local GP is urging all those taking part in this year’s Beat the Street project to carry on with their efforts, whilst reminding people that it’s never too late to make activity an all-year-round endeavour.
Dr Rupert Woolley, lead GP for the project on behalf of the Reading Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said: “With just a week of the competition to go, we have passed the moon in terms of the total distance covered! I now urge all participants to keep on going to make sure we reach our target of reaching space. As a society we pay a lot of attention to weight - but did you know that exercise is an even more important contributor to good health?”
“Research also shows that on average, an inactive person spends 37% more days in hospital and visits their doctor 5.5% more often compared with someone who exercises regularly.”
“So why not get out in the sunshine and take the dog for an extra walk, or perhaps get off the bus or train a stop early. It really is as easy as missing a single TV show! Exercise helps everyone – and it doesn’t need to be difficult. Just half an hour walking or other aerobic exercise makes all the difference.”
A survey into last year’s programme also found that 82% of those surveyed felt the programme assisted them in being more active; 73% said it helped them feel healthier.
The challenge now is to really make exercise a regular habit and part of our lives! I’d like to give the example of one of my patients, who was diagnosed with type II diabetes a few years ago; by taking small, manageable steps to regular exercise, her condition is now under control. She began cycling and using public transport more and finds she is less stressed as a result – especially before getting into work. As well as controlling her weight, Beat the Street has given her all the encouragement she needs to make her lifestyle changes work for her for the long term.
If exercise can work for her, it can work for anyone!”
Notes to editors:
- A video showing Dr Woolley explaining the benefits of regular exercise is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-ZcDbYF5RM&feature=youtu.be
- Regular physical activity is known to improve 23 long-term conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancers, dementia, depression and anxiety. Taking exercise also helps improve the health of those who already have these illnesses.
- Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for planning, designing and paying for NHS services. This includes planned and emergency hospital care, rehabilitation, most community services and mental health and learning disability services.
- Beat the Street is jointly funded by the NHS North and West Reading and NHS South Reading Clinical Commissioning Groups, and Reading Borough Council's Public Health Team. It uses technology developed by Reading-based health IT company, Intelligent Health.