Get walking for better health

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Check me out all organised and ahead of schedule this week!

I’m kicking off this week’s column with some news that I’m super proud of. Springboard Sunderland has asked me to become its patron and of course, I accepted.

I’ve always been aware of Springboard and its work in the city, and my hubby recently gained his Maths and English qualifications there.

But it wasn’t until I was asked to speak at and present the winner’s trophies at Springboard’s annual GEM awards that I truly found out what the organisation is all about. I was totally blown away by the learner achievements and the array of courses it offers. But the thing that excited me most was the level of work-based learning and the offering of an alternative to the traditional academic route of school, college and university.

As an employer, you can’t put a price on experience and someone’s absolute readiness for the workplace.

This isn’t something you can learn from a text book, but it is something that everyone needs if you want to succeed in your chosen career or if you want to start your own business.

I’ve met loads of people over the years, especially in my industry (fitness), who could recite a book word for word, cover to cover, but they’ve got no banter, no personality and no work ethic. So if you want to be super employable then it’s all about experience and work-based learning!

Now, in case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a geek. I like facts, figures and data and I especially like health and fitness-related data.

This week I was geeking out big time reading some new stats on obesity, which revealed that 36.3% of year 6 children (age 10-11) in Sunderland are overweight or obese, which is higher than the national average of 33.2% (which is horrendous to start with).

It makes me angry, frustrated and sad, because it’s so unfair for kids to get off to such a bad start in life. Not just because they will more than likely get teased for it at some point, but because it’s a major health risk, and guess what? An overweight child has a greatly increased chance of becoming an obese adult. We all know how this pans out.

Now I get it. We aren’t all gym bunnies but we all should be doing more to be more active and keep in shape, for our health if nothing else, no excuses.

So, why not sign up to the free Niall’s Miles events; a series of short walks, suitable for families.

Me, Heidi and my mam took part in one late last year and it was ace. The SAFC mascots were there, there were prizes and it was completely non intimidating.

The next one is on Sunday, March 6 at 10am at Hetton Country Park. It’s Mother’s Day, so it’s a nice chance to do a family activity, that does you good and did I mention it’s free?

So come on team Sunderland, lets take advantage of the great activities that are right on our doorsteps and make use of our city’s many good parks. Get some fresh air in your lungs, put your phones away and actually talk to each other, while getting some exercise. What more could you want on a Sunday morning for goodness sake?