With the gyms across the UK closed due to lockdown, a fitness app backed by the NHS has become an unlikely hit. Public Health England’s Couch to 5k has been downloaded around one million times over the past three months. The number represents a 92 percent increase from the March – June period last year, when the app was downloaded 448,000 times.
Designed for those of us who don’t exercise on a regular basis, The Couch to 5k app helps users gradually increase their activity levels. It also helps users track their progress, as they embark on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
With obese people accounting for six in every ten Covid-19 deaths in the UK, there has never been a better time to get into shape and start leading a healthy lifestyle that includes consumption of the right vitamins and minerals, said leaders from supplementscouts.com. This is particularly because over two thirds of people in the UK are overweight. In fact, 876,000 people who were admitted to hospital last in the UK year suffered from obesity-related issues.
The Acting Director at Public Health England, Rosanna O’Connor, agreed.
“Lockdown has been challenging for us all but it’s hugely positive to see so many people using this opportunity to get more active and using Public Health England’s app, part of its Couch to 5k campaign. Keeping active is not only good for our physical health but also crucially at this time helping us look after our mental health.”
Unfortunately, UK gyms did not reopen on 4 July with the easing of lockdown restrictions. With fitness centres closed since 21 March, many were disappointed not to be able to resume their fitness routines. To address the issue, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently said, “We are going to reopen gyms as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way and I think that the date for reopening gyms at the moment, if we can do it, is in just a couple of weeks’ time.”
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, recently hinted on Twitter that sports facilities could open from the middle of July. “Many people keen to hit the gym and keeping Britain fit is key in Covid battle. We’ve made lots of progress and I know steps businesses have taken to make their spaces and equipment safe. Following ‘Super Saturday’ – the opening of pubs and restaurants – there are hopes gyms will follow suit. Subject to public health, our aspiration is to reopen gyms and leisure facilities in mid-July.”