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HEALTH & FITNESS UK cycling more popular than ever

Cycling in the UK is more popular than ever, with a 14 per cent increase in bike sales over the last five years caus- ing the market to grow from £639m in 2008 to £754m in 2014, according to research. To

commemo ra t e

National Cycle to Work Day (4 September), market research company Mintel recently produced a raſt of sta- tistics spotlighting the spread of cycling across the UK. In the year that saw

Yorkshire host the start of the Tour de France, participation has grown across the country with 35 per cent of adults describing themselves as cyclists and a further 31 per cent say they would consider cycling in the future. As has been evidenced in cities like Bristol, the number of people com- munity on two wheels has also increased, with 28 per cent of current cyclists in the UK saying that they usually ride to their place of work, up from 25 per cent who said the same in 2013. With its vast network of cycle lanes and hire

bikes – and two new superhighways poten- tially on the way – London is unsurprisingly

Inner and Greater London remains the most popular place to cycle

the UK’s busiest city for cycling, with 45 per cent of the Inner and Greater London popula- tion identifying themselves as frequent cyclists. But safety concern is still the biggest bar-

rier to wider participation. Nearly 40 per cent of the public believe cycling would be safer in towns and cities if cyclists were separated from other traffic, while 32 per cent of adults believe it’s too dangerous to ride a bike on the road, suggesting the 19,000 deaths or injuries from cycling on UK roads last year loom large in their minds. Details:

Users are treated to giſts aſter hitting goals Olympian Kate Haywood heads into fitness

Double Olympic swimmer Kate Haywood has swapped the famous rings for REPs by embarking on a new career as a fitness instructor. Former BBC Young

Sports Personality of the Year Haywood – who rep- resented Team GB at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games – has launched Straightline Energy fitness sessions, which will be held across anumber of parks in Wandsworth, London. Haywood has taken her

RunKeeper to reward users with gifts for fitness feats

Fitness tracking application RunKeeper has partnered with mobile reward service Kilp to give users giſts and brand samples when they reach their exercise goals. Te offering comes as a number of tech-

nology producers turn to the carrot and stick method for motivating fitness enthu- siasts and people looking to lose weight. For example, Pavlok’s fitness tracking

device will soon look to shock users with a buzzer, give away their money or shame them on social media if they fall back into bad workout habits or fail to get out of bed. Te latest move from RunKeeper will

Haywood was Britain’s leading female breaststroke swimmer for a decade

knowledge of fitness and nutrition from her days as an Olympic ath- lete and, having qualified as a REPs trainer, developed an extensive training programme to get Londoners fit and healthy. Te sessions are designed to challenge and push those who are either new to fitness or seeking to reach new goals. Tey cover strength, speed, endur- ance, aerobic and anaerobic training. “We saw an opportunity to create a fit- ness training programme that can bring


Olympic-style training to residents in South West London,” said Haywood. “Te sessions are designed to get people

outdoors and really challenge themselves; being trained by an Olympic athlete gives people access to a level of expertise and pro- fessional quality of training that is not readily available to amateur athletes or those embark- ing on a fitness regime for the first time.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps

see users receive a pop-up congratula- tions message and the opportunity to click-through to redeem their giſt when they achieve certain goals. Initially the ser- vice will see 10 giſts and rewards offered, with smartwatch maker Pebble, Quaker Oats and P&G’s Secret Deodorant among the first brands to join the programme. Also included are song downloads spon- sored by specific brands, which users can unlock when they achieve certain personal landmarks. Details:

Read Leisure Opportunities online: 5

Brain could be retrained to favour healthier foods: study

Te brain could potentially be retrained to prefer healthy foods, helping people with weight loss and healthy eating plans, according to a small-scale pilot study pub- lished in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes. Conducted by researchers at the Harvard

Medical School and other research cen- tres in the US, the study observed how the brain’s reward system responds to healthy and unhealthy food. Te research looked at a part of our brain that seemingly gives us rewards by releasing chemicals such as dopamine in anticipation of our consumption of food. Te scientists have rec- ommended further research be carried out. Details:

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