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Swansea one if the best areas in UK for outdoor exercise, data reveals

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Swansea has been revealed as one of the best spots for outdoor exercise in the UK, according to Forbes Advisor’s outdoor fitness index.

The experts created a points-based index system based on the climate, length of cycle routes, running trails and the percentage of green space of 112 towns and cities in England and Wales.

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Each area was ultimately given an outdoor fitness score out of 10.

The results:

 Town/cityGreenspace score /10Cycle route score /10Running trail score /10Climate score /10Overall outdoor fitness score /10
1Stoke-on-Trent8.859.568.508.818.93
2Burnley9.034.877.439.217.63
3Woking8.946.028.765.987.42
4Milton Keynes9.828.586.373.727.12
5Sheffield4.259.387.617.227.11
6Derby5.589.656.556.647.10
7Manchester8.239.208.582.227.06
8Guildford6.994.259.826.466.88
8Rochdale5.225.139.207.976.88
9Newport3.899.038.146.116.79
10Sutton Coldfield9.915.496.115.366.72
11Swansea7.087.437.354.926.69
12Stockport9.124.699.653.286.68
13Newcastle-under-Lyme9.731.157.178.586.66
14Preston2.658.148.417.266.61
15Redditch8.583.726.737.226.56

Newport and Swansea both make the top 15

With an overall outdoor fitness score of 6.79/10, Newport ranks 9th. Home to 44.03km of cycle route (58% more than Newport), the city boasts a cycle route score of 9.03 out of 10, the 15th highest of all areas analysed. 

Swansea, on the other hand, ranks 11th with an overall outdoor fitness score of 6.69 out of 10. Also scoring highest for their cycle route score (7.43/10) thanks to the 27.86km of route available, the city further boasts a running trail score of 7.35/10. This is due to the 18 running routes available per 100,000 residents3 times the amount of trails per 100,000 people in Cardiff (6). 

Swansea is due to host its inaugural half-IRONMAN triathlon, where over 2,000 athletes have already signed up to take part.

The city is also home to the annual Swansea Half-Marathon, where thousands of runners take part every year.

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Stoke-on-Trent is the best town for outdoor exercise this summer

With an overall outdoor fitness score of 8.93/10, Stoke-on-Trent has been crowned Forbes Advisor’s best place to exercise outside this summer. With 58.95km of cycle route available in the area, the town beats fellow Staffordshire town, Newcastle-under-Lyme (6.66/10 overall) by a staggering 34%.

Burnley, Lancashire, places second with an overall outdoor fitness score of 7.63/10. The northern town received the highest climate score (9.21/10) of all towns and cities analysed. This factor considers the air qualityrainfallwind speeds and sunshine hours in the area, making Burnley an idyllic location for workouts in the sunshine this summer.

Woking, Surrey, places third. The south-eastern town scored 7.42/10 in Forbes Advisor’s outdoor fitness index. Almost a quarter (24.07%) of the area is covered in greenery, creating plenty of space for outdoor workouts this summer. Additionally, the town scored 8.76 out of 10 for their running trails, due to boasting the sixth-highest number of trails per 100,000 people (25). This is half (50%) the number of trails in their neighbouring town, Guildford (50 per 100,000 people), which places second in this category.

With an overall outdoor fitness score of 7.12/10, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire places fourth. Despite ranking second for its green space score (9.82/10), just 0.9% behind Sutton Coldfield in first (9.91/10), the newly labelled city received a climate score of just 3.72/10. However, the city boasts 37.20km of cycle routes – over double (142%) the length of cycle routes available in Burnley (15.36km) – securing a cycle route score of 8.58 out of 10.

Bury, Greater Manchester home to the most running trails

With 51 trails per 100,000 peopleBury, Greater Manchester has the largest amount of running trails of all areas analysed. This is a third (33%) more trails than in Stockport (38 per 100,000 people) which places fourth, and 46% more trails than in Rochdale (35) which places ninth.

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London has the largest amount of cycle routes

Home to the Boris Bikes, the country’s capital, London, has the largest amount of cycle routes, earning a cycle route score of 9.91/10. In total, the city has a staggering 203.29km of cycle route available, almost three times (184%) the length of route available in Bristol (71.50km) which places second in this category.

Kevin Pratt, from Forbes Advisor, commented on the research: “Exercise, for many of us, is its own reward. It helps us feel better, and it gives us the energy and sense of well-being we need to set about our daily lives with a positive attitude. And when it comes to an important product such as life insurance, it can even help us save money.

“When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked to provide detailed information about your health and medical history, including your height and weight, how much alcohol you drink, and whether you are a smoker. If the insurance company judges that you’re in good shape for your age and have a healthy lifestyle, then generally you’ll get a lower premium than someone who is broadly similar to you but who is deemed seriously overweight or who overindulges in alcohol or uses tobacco.

“If you live in an area that has the spaces and facilities to enable you to get plenty of exercise, that’s something to celebrate. But even if you aren’t, you can hopefully find a safe and enjoyable walking, running or cycling route nearby that will help you stay fit and on top of your game.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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