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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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Tyson Fury comes to Swansea as Ware-house Gym celebrates first anniversary

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“Gypsy King” Tyson Fury is making a special appearance at Cwmdu’s Ware-house Gym as the venue marks its first anniversary.

Is he retiring or does he have plans for making another comeback?

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Chris Ware, one of the owners of Ware-house Gym says he’s looking forward to the boxing legend’s live and unscripted visit, which promises a great night of entertainment and maybe even a song or two from the people’s champ himself.

Chris said: “It’s amazing to have such an iconic sports man coming to Swansea. Not only has he inspired so many people through sport but also the way he has battled his own mental health problems.

“His story is amazing on so many levels. He appeals to so many people, and it’s a privilege to have him in the gym.

“Between world class dance brands and now one of the biggest sports stars in the world is coming to Ware-House Gym Swansea, it’s been a great first year.”

The gym opened last year during the height of the pandemic, but despite it’s difficult start the venue has gone from strength to strength.

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It even hosted a pop-up nightclub as Sankeys, one of the UK’s most recognisable club brands announced the opening of their first Welsh venue at the gym.

The Cwmdu venue is now attracting national attention, as the gym became finalists in the UK Active awards for “New Concept, Build or Design of the Year.”

Staff at Ware-House Gym with owner, Chris Ware (centre)

Chris added: “We have pushed and stretched ourselves to provide a 5 star facility that everyone is welcome in.

“When we look back at our plans, we have nearly ticked off every little detail we aimed for. It has been exhausting and stressful but the support of our members and professionalism of our staff has helped us keep the standards so high.

“We have set the bar and we want to move forward as the best gym in the UK.”

Tyson Fury is at Ware-house Gym on Saturday 16 July, with tickets available from Warehouse’s website.

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Neath Port Talbot Council’s Leisure Services to be brought back in-house

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At their meeting on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022, Cabinet members agreed to bring Neath Port Talbot Council’s leisure services back under the council’s management (in-house).

A decision to outsource was taken in 2002 leading to the not-for-profit trust Celtic Leisure being appointed to run leisure services in 2003.

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The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Ted Latham, said: “There are a number of advantages to bringing these facilities back to in-house and this decision will enable us to continue supporting many more people to live healthier lives

“The council will have full control of leisure centres and other facilities, enabling us to determine the approach to opening hours, service delivery, fees and charges to ensure our leisure offer is focused on helping reduce inequality and improving the health of residents. There will also be benefits to existing staff who will have the security of transferring into the council’s employment.

“Also, leisure services can be jointly marketed and operated alongside other local tourist and leisure offers to ensure a joined up approach, contributing to our objective of establishing Neath Port Talbot as a place people want to visit.”

Following the Cabinet decision, council officers will now work with Celtic Leisure to facilitate an in-house leisure service and undertake the necessary consultation work.

A report will be brought to members setting out proposed arrangements that will be necessary to establish a council controlled leisure service – the report will include the outcome of any public consultation for members to determine.

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Cllr Latham added: “We now look forward to bringing our leisure services back in-house with the aim of increasing participation by our residents in sport and physical activity, encouraging people to become more active to improve their health and wellbeing.”

The Cabinet decision is subject to a three-day call in period.

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Welsh rugby stars’ ambitions to ensure everyone in Wales has access to fitness and wellbeing activities

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The Wales rugby stars behind an app which aims to give people of all ages and abilities straightforward access to workouts, fitness activities and exclusive offers are seeking funding of £300,000 as part of ambitious plans to ensure their market disrupting platform is downloaded and used across the whole of Wales, before turning their attention to the rest of the UK.

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Ospreys and Wales Rugby International, Alex Cuthbert (Image: Fitap)

Fitap, which launched in the midst of lockdown in 2020, brings the world of fitness and wellbeing into one easily accessible app in order to create and reward a community of people who enjoy staying physically and mentally active. 

The team behind the already popular app, which includes Wales rugby stars Alex Cuthbert and Gareth Anscombe, now hope to extend its features, as well as build a sales team and increase marketing through crowdfunding.

“Our aim is to leverage technology to make staying fit easier, cheaper and more enjoyable,” says Wales rugby international Alex Cuthbert, “Sometimes people get intimidated about physically going to a gym or exploring activities to help their mental health and wellbeing, but this makes access easier.”

In a survey of current users, 71% said that Fitap helped them find either facilities or online sessions, with 92% saying they’d recommend it. 

Alex adds, “I’ve played rugby for most of my life, and it really makes you feel like you’re part of a family. We want to help customers find their passion, and in doing so, help them meet new people with similar interests. What’s better than getting physically and mentally healthier, whilst also feeling part of a community?”

Wales and Ospreys rugby star, Gareth Anscombe (Image: Fitap)

For business partner and fellow Wales and Ospreys teammate, Gareth Anscombe, Fitap is the passion project that kept him busy when struggling psychologically after being ruled out of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan with knee ligament damage.

He says that for people starting their fitness journey, it can be a minefield; “The gym isn’t for everybody and, when it comes to wellbeing, it’s important to provide support for those who’ve had a few setbacks in life. 

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“For me, in rugby, there’s been great times, but it’s not always smooth sailing. I feel it’s important to provide support and make talking about fitness and mental health more accessible.”

The app, which is free for users, charges businesses a fee to be listed in return for promotion to members of the public who want to find new ways to get active.

“Because advertising costs tend to be high and therefore too risky for individual fitness providers to try, nobody currently owns consumers’ minds in this space. We aim to!” says business partner, Dean Jones, who has a background in marketing and advertising. 

Those with enquiries can find out more on the Fitap website and invest using the Crowdcube platform.

(Lead image: Fitap)

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