Fit For Purpose – Matt Hancock works out with The Sun as he vows to get Britain in shape

Source: The Sun

Date: 25-July-2020

Photograph courtesy of The Sun.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is launching a crusade to get the country eating less and moving more. Daily exercise is being encouraged as part of an anti-obesity wake-up call. The Better Health battle plan comes as evidence shows excess weight is linked to a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

I joined Mr Hancock for a lunchtime jog to talk through the aims. He had swapped his usual business suit for a navy blue tracksuit for our chat in St James’s Park, central London, close to the Department of Health and Social Care offices in Whitehall. He even took up my challenge of doing some one-handed press-ups.

Britain is the second-fattest nation in Europe, after Malta, and Mr Hancock wants to see us drop down the table. In a stark warning, he says: “One of the reasons we’ve had such a bad time of Covid is that we’re one of the fattest countries in Europe and we need to tackle that.

“The way to do that is supporting people and motivating people to do what’s right for them and what’s right by the NHS. It’s a call to action, a national effort that we need.

“Teachers have a big role to play as well in this national effort. I applaud The Daily Mile [for young children to jog or run for 15 minutes daily at school] and there are lots of ways to exercise.”

Offices and firms across the land are also being asked to buy into the new push.

He says: “For all employers, for companies and bosses, Covid has shown health impacts on the bottom line. It’s in bosses’ interests to help their employees stay fit.” Doctors will also have a greater role to play in being more frank with patients if they are obese or overweight.

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4 ideas for socially distant breaktimes in September

Source: Tes.

Date: 6th-July-2020

How will the need to socially distance impact lunch and breaktimes? We look at the guidelines, and make some suggestions of activities.

Students are generally social creatures and those two (or for some lucky ones – three) breaks in the school day are often their highlight. They socialise, they play, and they refuel with their favourite snack. But when we return in September, will breaktimes and lunchtimes look the same?

According to the new September guidance: sort of.

Breaktimes – but not as we know them

The guidelines suggest schools need to avoid busy corridors, and that “schools should also consider staggered breaktimes and lunchtimes”.

And what about play equipment? Well, as long as it is cleaned between the different bubble groups of students, this will be allowed.

The guidance recommends that “outdoor playground equipment should be more frequently cleaned” and “sports equipment thoroughly cleaned between each use by different individual groups”.

School meals

In terms of catering, school dinners are back on the menu as outside catering teams can return, but the guidelines do also state that you must allow for “time for cleaning surfaces in the dining hall between groups”.

Back in the playground, jumpers for goalposts is on the “no” pile for now as well because “contact sports should not take place”. So, what can schools encourage their students to do at break and lunchtime?

1. [The] Daily Mile

This popular exercise challenge seemed to be recommended in the latest guidance where it said “active miles [will] help enable pupils to be physically active while encouraging physical distancing”.

If you visit The Daily Mile website, it also has suggestions for how you can make this work in a socially distant way.

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Meet the children keeping up with their Daily Mile in lockdown

Source: East Anglian Daily Times

Date: 02-July-2020

Keeping up an exercise regime during the Covid-19 lockdown can be tough, even for the fittest adults. But these young people have showed it can be done – by keeping up with their “Daily Mile”, even though not all children are able to go to school. Over the past few years, young people aged five to 11 have been challenged to walk or jog at their own pace for 15-mins every day as part of the Suffolk’s Daily Mile scheme. Dozens of schools across Suffolk have signed up to the campaign, with 88 primary schools and nurseries currently registered.

Yet the Coronavirus crisis somewhat disrupted the youngsters’ usual routine, with schools closed to all children except those of key workers from March. Primaries reopened to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children in June, but many have still had to rely on home learning – making it all the more tempting to stay indoors. However Keep Moving Suffolk, working with Ipswich Twilight Races, is giving 300 children under the age of 12 medals for completing The Daily Mile with relatives on any day up until Sunday, July 5. So far, more than 170 young people have submitted applications and photos.

Organisers are now encouraging people to submit pictures by 5pm on Sunday to get their hands on the remaining medals – handed out on a first-come, first-served basis – and an e-ceritifcate signed by Elaine Wyllie MBE.

Elaine Wyllie MBE, founder of The Daily Mile, said: “I would encourage families to have fun taking part in the Suffolk Challenge and to continue with The Daily Mile at Home whilst the children are not at school. Everyone’s mental and physical health will benefit from exercising together outdoors in the fresh air.”

Councillor James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public health, said: “The Daily Mile is a great way of keeping the family active while we still navigate our way through the impact of Covid-19. Physical exercise doesn’t have to be daunting and you don’t have to have all the right equipment. It can be as simple as a walk with the family, switching off from the stresses of everyday life and taking fifteen minutes to enjoy each other’s company and use up some pent-up energy. It doesn’t matter if you run, jog, walk or toddle, the joy of this is that you can do it at your own pace and can enjoy spending time together being active every day.”

Visit the Keep Moving Suffolk website to enter.

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