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Gavin Newlands MP calls on local fitness heroes to lead the way in run-up to National Fitness Day

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has attended a launch event for National Fitness Day in Westminster, and is now urging constituents to put themselves forward to be a regional fitness hero ahead of the event, which takes place on Wednesday 26 September.

Mr Newlands, who is also SNP’s spokesperson for Sport, called on people to share a message about what fitness means to them online, using Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and the hashtag #Fitness2Me. From those who champion healthy lifestyles in their towns and communities, to those who have overcome the odds through physical activity, beaten depression or inspired young people to get active, the search aims to celebrate the role of fitness in every walk of life.

National Fitness Day is an annual campaign that celebrates the fun of fitness and physical activity, while highlighting the benefits leading an active lifestyle can have on our overall health on the most active day of the year.

The most inspiring #Fitness2Me heroes will be selected from 12 regions by organisers ukactive, the not-for-profit health body. Each hero will be invited to help get their local community active on National Fitness Day and their story will be promoted to a national audience in the run-up to the day.

Gavin Newlands MP said: “I’m delighted to offer my support to National Fitness Day 2018 and to highlight the positive influence that taking part in sports or having an active lifestyle can have for an individual. National Fitness Day celebrates the fun of fitness, while emphasising the benefits of an active lifestyle and I would encourage everyone to take part in any way they can by nominating a #Fitnes2Me hero or by taking part in the free activities available.”

Last year, National Fitness Day saw more than 20,000 free activities take place across the UK and 5.1 million people getting physically active on the day.

Legendary ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell has declared her backing for National Fitness Day 2018, with the Strictly Come Dancing judge set to kick-off proceedings on the day with her dance fitness company DDMIX.

And the Department of Health has added its support by recognising the crucial role of physical activity in the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “Being active is so important – it adds years to our lives, saves billions of pounds for our NHS and helps to manage and prevent over 20 chronic conditions, including heart disease, type-2 diabetes and mental health problems. That’s why I’m delighted to support National Fitness Day – which can play a crucial role in getting the nation moving.”

AXA PPP healthcare has also renewed its commitment to supporting healthy workplaces by extending its headline partnership of National Fitness Day for another three years. The partnership includes a focus on supporting employers to promote a physically active workforce through AXA PPP’s ‘Flying Start’ campaign, which calls on employers to help their staff enjoy an active start to National Fitness Day.

Gordon Henderson, Marketing Director at AXA PPP healthcare, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with National Fitness Day, for 2018 and beyond. Busy work schedules and family commitments can mean it’s hard to make time for physical activity but we believe employers have a key role to play in helping their people to get moving. National Fitness Day is a great way for workplaces to get involved and build being active into their working day.”

CEO of ukactive Steven Ward said: “National Fitness Day is all about celebrating the personal experiences and stories that physical activity brings to our lives. Whatever fitness means to you, we’re calling on you to share that message with the nation so that more people can be inspired to live healthy, active lifestyles.

“National Fitness Day continues to go from strength to strength and we’re delighted that AXA PPP healthcare has committed to a further three years on our journey, helping us to reach into Britain’s workplaces with their Flying Start campaign.”

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