People in the South West are being challenged to kick start the New Year by taking steps to support Cancer Research UK.
The charity is encouraging everybody who feels they’ve had too many mince pies or helpings of Christmas pudding to sign up now to Walk All Over Cancer and get sponsored to walk 10,000 steps every day for a month.
In the South West, almost a quarter (22 per cent) of people are getting less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.
Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the South West, said: “For many of us, the start of a new year is a great time to commit to be a bit more active.
“If you are thinking about a New Year’s resolution for 2020, why not visit our website and sign up now to Walk All Over Cancer.
“We are asking people to get sponsored to walk 10,000 steps a day in March. So there’s plenty of time for supporters to start building up to the challenge and planning new, fun ways to fit in some extra steps – from getting off the bus one stop early to organising walks with family and friends.
“Sticking to a New Year’s resolution can be hard, especially through the cold, dark months of January. Registering now and making a public pledge to take part in the Spring, could help people steel their resolve.”
Not only will taking on the challenge help raise money, it has health benefits as well. Moderate exercise can help build stamina, burn calories and keep a healthy body weight, which reduces the risk of 13 different types of cancer.
Walking has many positive effects on both the body and mind. It can help generate a sense of well-being and help people think more creatively.
Alison added: “Participants can tackle our Walk All Over Cancer challenge in their own way. They can take part on their own or ask family, friends and colleagues to join them.
“It offers a great opportunity to explore new places together or to carve out some ‘me time’ by doing the challenge alone.
“It is also a good way to get to know your local town or city better by taking the time to explore it on foot, rather than by car, bus or train.”
She continued: “10,000 steps is equal to about five miles, based on the average person’s strides. That’s quite a challenge for many people. But adopting small changes that you can stick too – from walking to work or taking the stairs instead of the lift – will help make the goal feel achievable.”
Keeping check on the number of steps taken each day is a great way to boost motivation and a sense of achievement. It’s easy to do, with many smartphone apps, pedometers and wearable activity trackers.
Alison added: “Cancer survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress – but every step our doctors, nurses and scientists take relies on donations from the public and the tireless fundraising of our supporters.
“There are over 200 types of cancer and we need continued investment in research to help us find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat them. That’s why we need people to step up to the challenge and Walk All Over Cancer.”
To sign up and receive a fundraising pack, with tips and ideas to help with the challenge, visit cruk.org/walkallover