Anyone else getting the feeling that more and more people are exercising? I know lots of women who are starting to run, the numbers of cyclists streaming past my house at the weekend has risen dramatically and I’m sure there’s more people wandering round the supermarket in trainers and lycra! Looking on-line, the exercise forums are flourishing, #thisgirlcan is everywhere and more and more decent kit is tempting me. I was hoping that as a nation we’re starting to make a change but I wondered if it was just my own view of the world; a bit like when I was shopping for my first pram, I saw them everywhere! Wouldn’t we rather just go down the pub? Well, fear not, a new survey hasn’t burst my bubble, only blown it a bit bigger!
An on-line survey of over 2000 people carried out for Breast Cancer Care in May this year showed that Brits are twice as likely to exercise as go to the pub! Yep, that surprised me too. 65% of the people surveyed donned trainers and exercised every week but only 34% made their way to their local hostelry.
52% of people are exercising between 1 and 10 hours a week. The current exercise guidelines recommend at least 2 and a half hours a week so many of them are doing enough and plenty are doing way more than the guidelines. Great news.
Can you guess the commonest reason for wanting to exercise? I thought it would be ‘to get fit or lose weight’. No, 52% just wanted to spend time outdoors and get some fresh air. Perhaps a reflection of the time we now spend indoors staring at computer screens craving a blast of mother nature.
Men v women? (Not that I’m competitive of course!) Men were almost twice as likely to go to the pub each week (44% v 25%) and won by a nose on the amount they exercise (67% v 65%). I call that a 1-1 draw.
I was encouraged that more than half (56%) of 55 to 64 years olds are exercising every week and jubilant that nearly 80% of 18 to 34 year olds are doing the same.
I know this is only a survey of a small proportion of the population but it’s interesting and it made me feel proud. There are so many volunteers out there spending their free time helping and encouraging others to get active for all the benefits it can bring them. One of these benefits is a reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Whilst the biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer are being a woman and getting older (which we can’t alter) we need to be pro-active about changing the ones we can. Adding regular exercise to your week can help minimise your risk of developing breast cancer and also helps women cope with the treatments once they’re diagnosed.
Breast Cancer Care are holding a ‘London at Night’ pink ribbon walk on Saturday July 4th. See the city at night with routes from 5 to 20 miles and help to support women facing breast cancer. Click here if you want to sign up.
In the meantime I’m cheered by the fact that my tiny bit of volunteering may be helping to make a difference. Keep it up Britain!
Featured image courtesy of Gratisography