Health chiefs offer help to Brighton and Hove's couch potatoes

Posted On 13 Jan 2012 at 7:48 pm

Brighton and Hove’s health chiefs are urging the county’s couch potatoes to turn new year fitness resolutions into reality.

To help, they have come up with a two-month beginners running plan.

The aim is to encourage people who don’t currently exercise to try running three times a week – starting with runs of just one minute each.

The reward, they said, would be a lower risk of chronic illness and those taking part would feel more positive and self-confident.

They would also be helping to keep their weight under control.

The Couch to 5K plan aims to help people go from doing little or no exercise to being able to run for five kilometres (about half an hour) after just nine weeks.

There are even podcasts to help would-be runners get into their stride with a narrator guiding them through each session and with music to keep them on the move.

The programme was developed by novice runner Josh Clark for his fiftysomething mother.

It has gone on to inspire and work for thousands of other people.

Tom Scanlon, Brighton and Hove’s director of public health, said: “Lots of people have good intentions about taking more exercise.

“But it can be hard to know where to start if you’ve been out of shape for a while.

“Couch to 5K is a great way of dealing with that. It builds up your fitness and stamina slowly through a mixture of walking and running, and makes the challenge achievable from day one.

“It’s an easy, cheap way to get fit and we’re backing it all the way.”

There is a quick link to the Couch to 5K plan at www.brightonandhove.nhs.uk and it is also available on the national NHS Choices website.

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