Government Backs National Commit to Get Fit Campaign
Thousands to take fitness challenge as gyms throw open their doors to the public
As concern about increasing obesity levels and inactivity grows, the NHS is supporting a huge national fitness campaign this summer, which aims to encourage up to 100,000 people to make regular activity a part of their lives. ‘Commit to Get Fit’ will see around 500 health clubs and leisure centres offering free walking fitness assessments to the public, along with discounted short term memberships – providing the perfect way for people to take the first steps to a healthier lifestyle. The campaign, which is now in its 13th year, launches on July 1, 2004.
A host of celebrities have supported Commit to Get Fit as it has grown in recent years. They include sporting heroes such as Daley Thompson, Seb Coe, Sally Gunnell, James Cracknell and Sue Barker, along with stars from the world of entertainment such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patsy Palmer, Chris Moyles and Jon Culshaw.
Commit to Get Fit has generated more than £1 million for charity, and this year all money raised by clubs and participants will be donated to Diabetes UK. Benet Middleton, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, says: “We are so pleased to be working with Commit to Get Fit this summer because physical activity is a vital part of both managing diabetes and helping to prevent the condition. In fact, Type 2 diabetes can be directly linked to obesity and inactive lifestyles.
“There are around 1.4 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and a further one million who have the condition and don’t yet know it. Lifestyle factors, such as a lack of exercise and unhealthy diet, are major contributing factors to the increasing number of cases of diabetes in the UK. We all need to do something about it now to prevent a major health catastrophe in the future.”
Nigel Wallace, Executive Director of the Fitness Industry Association (FIA), which runs Commit to Get Fit, says: “This summer our sites will be offering the public the chance to walk in free of charge to take the Rockport Walking Fitness Assessment – a very simple one mile walking test that can be completed on a treadmill. The test provides a result whatever pace people walk, so it is ideal for those new to exercise or who haven’t been physically active for sometime. Professional fitness instructors will be on hand in health clubs and fitness centres to administer the test which is a well respected measurement of cardiovascular fitness. We hope that participants will re-take the test after completing the campaign and see the real difference they can make to their fitness in a matter of weeks.”
The campaign is also supported by the National Health Service and plays an important part in their commitment to the national health agenda, providing the ideal kick-start for people seeking motivation to begin building active into their lives including working out regularly.
John Greenway MP, Shadow Sports Minister and Chair of the Register of Exercise Professionals, explains: "With British obesity on the increase it is vital that people think about their long term health and make exercise a regular part of their life. The FIA plays an important role in educating the general public about the benefits of an active lifestyle through initiatives such as the long running 'Commit to Get Fit'."
Hundreds of health clubs and leisure centres nationwide, including well known chains such as LivingWell, Kinetika and LA Fitness, will be offering new members special discounts and enabling them to try before they buy, as well as setting new challenges to make getting in shape a more enjoyable experience.
To find out more about Commit to Get Fit 2004 and to locate health clubs and leisure centres taking part in your area, log on to www.committogetfit.com.
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• The FIA is the trade body for the fitness industry, representing more than 1,500 health clubs and leisure centres across the UK.
• FIA clubs and centres work to adhere to a Code of Practice - a set of performance standards covering health and safety, staff training and customer care - which ensures members are well looked after in a safe environment.
For more information or logos, please contact:
Sue on 01753 740074 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Log onto the Commit to Get Fit website www.committogetfit.com to find your nearest participating club.
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