Residents are being asked to put their best foot forward - and complete one of 2 city wide fitness challenges.

Wolverhampton City Council's Public Health team have thrown down the gauntlet to people to collectively either complete a million miles or lose a million pounds in support of the city's fight against obesity.

Residents are being encouraged to record their distances whenever they walk, swim, cycle or run a mile or more on the special Million Miles for Wolverhampton challenge totaliser - with the hope that collectively Wolverhampton can cover 1,000,000 miles over the next 12 months.

The miles should be in addition to distances that people complete on a regular basis, for instance, walking the dog further, cycling to work rather than driving, doing an extra few lengths in the swimming pool or spending more time on the rowing machine at the gym.

Wherever or whenever these miles are completed, people are being asked to add them to the online totaliser available at Type=articles;Articleid=5683;Title=Tackling obesity in Wolverhampton; and help Wolverhampton towards the magic million mark.

Meanwhile, residents who are looking to lose weight this new year can support a separate challenge - by helping Wolverhampton to collectively shed a million pounds. Each pound they lose can be added to the Million Pounds for Wolverhampton challenge totaliser online as Wolverhampton seeks to lose 1,000,000 lbs.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "These very public challenges have been launched on the back of the Obesity Summit held in Wolverhampton in November, in which we came together as a city to start to tackle the obesity crisis facing Wolverhampton.

"More than two thirds of adults in our city are either obese or overweight and an increasing number of young people are following suit, so it's imperative that we do something about the problem now before it's too late.

"It's very clear that physical exercise and watching our weight are 2 very good ways in which people can get and remain in shape, and that's why we are encouraging everyone in Wolverhampton to support these two challenges.

"In our Million Miles for Wolverhampton, we are, very simply, challenging the city to walk, swim, run or cycle a million miles. Anyone can do it - and it doesn't matter if they complete 1 mile or 100; whatever distance they do, we want them to put their miles towards our target each time they complete them.

"Similarly, we want to recognise the great efforts that people are making to lose weight in Wolverhampton - and I am sure plenty of residents have embarked on health kicks this new year - by recording the weight they lose.

"So if anyone is on a diet or health kick and the scales are going down, I'd urge them to log on and record their weight loss over the coming weeks and months and help us complete the million pound drop.

"There are of course many good reasons to maintain fitness levels and a healthy weight, from the immediate benefits of having more energy and feeling better about yourself to longer term rewards like reducing risks of potentially life-threatening conditions like stroke, heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes."

To find out more about the Million Miles and Million Pounds challenges, and to record miles completed or pounds lost, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=5683;Title=Tackling obesity in Wolverhampton;.

Anyone supporting the challenge is also invited to share their efforts on Twitter by following @wecantw8 and using the hashtag, #wecantw8, and people inspired to improve their fitness levels can find out about the great new membership packages available at Wolverhampton City Council's leisure centres starting from just £10 per month - please visit Type=links;Linkid=4852;Title=WV Active;Target=_blank; for more details.

Councillor Samuels said the Obesity Summit, held at Wolverhampton Racecourse in November, saw around 300 health professionals, businesses and community groups come together to join the fight against obesity in Wolverhampton.

Representatives from public and private sector organisations, health and social care providers, voluntary and community organisations and faith groups analysed the problem with the help of expert speakers before working together to make practical commitments to address the issue on either a local and city wide basis.

  • released: Monday 12 January, 2015