Go Active News
Posted: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 15:13
One of Active Oxfordshire's 10 ambitions is we want every child to have 60 active minutes a day. Active Oxfordshire's Josh Lenthall explains all on the new Active 60 campaign:
You may have seen that Active Oxfordshire launched the new Active 60 campaign this week to help ensure that every school aged child in Oxfordshire can achieve 60 active minutes, every day.
Why 60 active minutes in particular?
Because Chris Whitty says so. When he isn't fighting a health pandemic and giving daily briefings on the television, part of his role as Chief Medical Officer is to set the guidelines for physical activity. If children can meet these guidelines, we know that there is a wealth of evidence that they'll be happier, achieve better educational outcomes, be more active as young citizens in their communities and be at far less risk of ill health.
What do we mean by 'active'?
In this context, 'moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity'. Or in simpler terms, getting out of breath. Whether it's climbing a tree, riding a bike or dancing around the kitchen, if it gets a young person out of breath, it counts! And a survey of 130,000 young people nationally tells us that if they are going to stick at an activity, the most important thing is how fun it is. So, the key ingredients are moving more and having fun! Simple right?
The new five a day!
We want 'Active 60' to become the new 'five a day' but we have work to do to make it as well known, and importantly for EVERY child in Oxfordshire to have the same opportunities to achieve their Active 60.
We know in 2019 that only 52% of our young people achieved this. The effects of Covid-19 on these figures has been shattering, in May 2020, the figures for children reaching their Active 60 was 19% with children from more disadvantaged households facing more barriers to being active than others. To put that into numerical terms...68,000 school aged children in Oxfordshire are currently not meeting guidelines that are scientifically proven to improve their mental and physical health!
In visual terms….68,000 is the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo filled to capacity
At Active Oxfordshire we don't think anyone is the problem, but we think everyone can be the solution. Everyone wants our children and young people to be happy and healthy and there are many organisations and people who can make this happen.
We want to work alongside partners, schools and communities to make a change. We want to listen to the barriers people face, understand them and then find solutions together.
We can change this, and we must change this to give every child in Oxfordshire an active start in life. Find out more about the campaign here.
Posted: Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:11
Dick Tracey was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in April 2019, aged 63. This came as a huge shock to him and he knew he needed to make some significant changes. As well as changing his diet, Dick was keen to start getting active. But the barriers were there – he had never joined a gym in his life and was unsure where to start.
Dick then found out about the GO Active Get Healthy Diabetes programme, which is a partnership approach between Active Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire Local Authorities, funded by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to help people living with diabetes increase their physical activity levels to help manage their condition. Dick received tailored advice from the GO Active Physical Activity Specialists, who motivated and encouraged Dick to take part in regular exercises through the programme and supported him to start cycling regularly.
In just eight months after his diagnosis, Dick lost 20% of his body mass, went into remission and is now able to control his diabetes with physical activity and diet alone.
"I'm absolutely convinced none of this would have happened if I hadn't met Active Oxfordshire."
Dick now shares his story about the difference getting active continues to make to his life, and the challenges faced by the COVID-19 crisis:
"When COVID-19 came along, I was more than a little concerned. I went into a little bit of panic. I knew that being diabetic carried additional risks, and I felt myself going into panic overdrive and became a recluse. That meant I was inactive and, with nothing to do, I started comfort eating and snacking. I then put on seven pounds and could feel myself going into denial and coming up with barriers as to why I couldn't go out and exercise.
When it hit me that I'd put on half a stone, I knew I had to make changes. I was still fearful of going out - so what could I do at home? First, I walked repeatedly up and down the stairs to see how much I could do before I became breathless. Every third day I decided to increase it. We have a large back garden, so I started to jog up and down the garden (much to the amusement of my neighbours) and counted how many times I could complete before I became breathless – and gradually increased. These became daily activities. When I got my confidence back, I went back out on my bike. Just by doing those local exercises, the snacking stopped and I'm back in the right mindset.
For me, it's all around confidence. It's amazing how much your confidence improves by getting active. You don't just get confidence in whichever exercise you're doing, you get confidence in yourself. You really feel proud of what you've done. Shedding my weight so quickly, gave me that confidence.
The hardest step is the first step. If you haven't exercised for a long time, then just walking around the block is going to be good for you. If I go round the block once a day for the first week then it's twice the next week. Start easy. Don't beat yourself up, because you won't enjoy it. Find something that you enjoy doing and even if you think it isn't doing you any good – it is."