Wellness challenge will see group of over 65’s cycle 1000 miles in 5 Days

Inspired Villages, a developer and operator of later living communities across the UK, this week announces the launch of its  Inspired 1,000 Mile Challenge, which runs from 20th to 24th May,  as part of its continued focus on the health and wellbeing of residents.

The event will see colleagues, residents and friends of Inspired, cycle a gruelling 500 miles in five days, from the most southern village in Exeter, to the most northern in Cheshire, whilst additional residents and colleagues make up the remaining 500 miles on static bikes, set up at each village, on foot, in wheel chairs and even on a horse!

Staying active in later life is proven to have a multitude of health benefits. A recent study by Aging Cell found that physical activity has a positive influence on the immunity of adults, whilst also observing that 75 year olds who maintain a high level of physical activity – such as cycling – have the same level of health as inactive 55 year olds.[1]

The five-day 1,000 Mile Challenge – which starts at Millbrook Village in Exeter on 20th May – will see Channel 4’s Dr Dawn Harper and BBC’s Julia Bradbury, advocates of staying healthy in later life, join forces with residents, colleagues and friends of Inspired Villages. Residents have been training for the event across Inspired Villages’ wellness centres and planning their fitness programmes with Village Wellness Navigators.

Resident Tim Butters, aged 78 from Inspired’s Millbrook Village, has enjoyed a lifetime of fitness and sporting achievements including 10 marathons, and has pledged to cycle a minimum of 10 miles for the event, with the support of Wellness Navigator, Leah Jackson.

Tim comments:

“I have always understood the benefit of staying active, particularly as you get older, and regularly enjoy the broad range of facilities that we have at Millbrook Village. We may not be as agile or flexible as we once were, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t take part. This challenge has created a lot of interest about the place and it’s good to see friends and neighbours pledging to do their bit. We’re looking forward to sending off the first stage on 20th May.”

Inspired Villages, which is backed by Legal & General, has set an ambitious target of raising in excess of £20,000 over the five days through participation and fund raising at each of the villages, as well as its Just Giving page. In addition to many of the villages opting to raise money for charities that are close to their hearts, the later living provider is partnering with MIND, a charity that not only supports its values and ethos, but also champions its omnipresent wellness strategy.

Dr Dawn Harper, Channel 4 presenter and ambassador for staying active in later life, comments:

“Staying active whatever your age can aid positive mental health and help people live better, for longer. Setting yourself a challenge is a great way to begin a new health routine, especially as part of a group.  My research conducted for ‘How to Live Well to 101’ also identified community as an important factor in positive mental and physical wellness.

“It’s fantastic that so many colleagues and residents at Inspired Villages have signed up for the challenge and I can’t wait to get involved and support this exciting and ambitious event.”

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages Group, said:

“We are committed to improving the physical, social and mental wellbeing of our residents across the UK.  The 1,000 Mile Challenge  is a fantastic way to drive forward Inspired’s health and wellbeing agenda and I look forward to putting in some miles with my Inspired colleagues and our residents as I join for 500 miles on my bike.”

Inspired Village’s Commitment to Wellness

The ‘Inspired 1000 Mile Challenge’ is one of the many wellness initiatives that Inspired Villages has underway this year. The later living operator, joined forces with wellness organisations; ukactive, Oomph! and Hero in January to help boost the health and wellbeing of the Inspired community, as well as  launching ‘Inspired Walks’, a series of walking guides for residents and visitors, in time for National Walking Month in May.

Inspired Villages’ ‘101 Ways to Enjoy Getting Older’ campaign is also underway with Gloria Hunniford, identifying 101 top tips for a happy retirement. Events are planned all over the UK throughout 2019, including headlining Gardeners World Live in June.

Whether it’s sponsorship, support or the chance to do a few miles yourself, the Inspired 1,000 Mile Challenge welcomes everyone to get involved. If you would like to find out more visit: www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/events/1000-mile-challenge

[1] Major features of immunesenescence, including reduced thymic output, are ameliorated by high levels of physical activity in adulthood, 8 March 2018, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/acel.12750

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