I should be thrilled, shouldn’t I, that our county is now topping the national tables for sports participation? It’s a great achievement – but frankly, there’s still an opportunity to be doing more.
The latest Active People Survey by Sport England found that 41% of people in the county actively engage in sport at least once a week, and that is the best figure in the land. But, to be honest, it terrifies me, that 59% of you still don’t do enough sport and physical activity, as the evidence shows that being active can literally be a matter of life and death. It’s a fact that inactivity kills more people than obesity. I know it’s not easy to fit sport into hectic lives, but as little as 30 minutes a week can have a positive impact on your health and life expectancy. I have a young family, a daily commute of 85 miles, and despite working in sport, I have a desk job, that also requires me to attend a number of evening engagements, and I’m above my ideal weight.
I do however make time to get to the gym, build activity into family time, and incorporate sport into our holidays. Here at Leap, the county sport and activity partnership, we aim to help people change their habits, getting started in sport, getting back into sport, or going to the next level. The best advice I ever received was to train with a sports buddy.
As a pair you will encourage each other, inspire each other, and secretly compete with each other; whilst having fun and getting fitter. Readers can find out about local sports opportunities using our local activity finder (www.leapwithus.org.uk). My message is simply this, don’t allow yourself to be inactive, and remember that we are designed to move; just 7 minutes of stair climbing a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 50% so please try and find at least 30 minutes a week to be active. Three easy steps to get going: find a sports buddy, block out time in your diary, and choose an activity. At the end of the day you will have some fun, feel you have accomplished something and improve your well-being , and keep Bucks as the most active county in England – why wouldn’t you?