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A healthier you for 2013

Friday 11th January 2013

Walking, Cycling

Do you want to get fitter or feel healthier this year but have no time to fit physical activity into your busy lifestyle? The answer could be just on your doorstep. 

By simply walking or cycling more, whether for the regular trips you make to work or school every day, or as a leisure activity, you could significantly improve your health and fitness.

Being inactive can cause real health problems and, as a nation, we are generally less active than we used to be, according to recently published guidance by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. One way of tackling this is to simply incorporate walking and cycling into everyday life. 

Take the easy route to health in 2013:

  • To plan a cycling route for your next journey - See York's cycle journey planner.
  • To plan a walking route or to create your very own leisure walk for you or your friends - See York's dedicated walking route planner.

Both tools help you see at a glance how near your destination is, what route to take, and how long it will take to get there.

You can also visit Walking for leisure for more information and tips on how to fit walking into your life. For more information on cycling, including useful tips if your are starting to cycle for the first time, see our Cycling section.

Regular physical activity is crucial to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle; for example, it can help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes by up to 50 per cent, and it is also important for good mental health.

At present, we are not active enough as a nation – around two-thirds (61 per cent) of men and nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of women aged 16 and over do not meet the recommended levels advised by the Government.

Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE, said that not being physically active enough "can contribute to a wide range of health problems". 

Mr Ralph Bagge, a community member who was also involved in the guidance, said: “We all lead such busy lives these days, it's often hard to find the time to exercise as much as we would like” but added “The answer is on your doorstep - if you have a coat and shoes, you can be active!”

To download the NICE guidance, please visit