2 February 2017

sports tours

With legendary runner Ron HIll and our team at the launch of our sponsorship.

This week I wrote about the two 10Ks we are sponsoring in Greater Manchester this year, but I didn’t mention Olympic athlete and ambassador of Sports Tours International Dr Ron Hill MBE, who joined us as at UKFast to announce our sponsorship of the races last year.

Ron announced earlier this week that he decided to end his amazing 52-year streak of running at least one mile every single day. During this time, he even continued to run with a snapped sternum following a car crash in 1993 and for six weeks in a plaster cast after an operation on his foot. How is that for devotion?

Having met Ron several times in our offices and at running events, I must say how he inspired me with his passion and commitment to exercise – and maybe even more so with his commitment to routine. It was his daily running routine that helped Ron stay fit and train for marathons all over the world, but it was also this routine that gave him the idea for his sportswear business. As an entrepreneur, he pioneered products like reflective running strips, when running to work in the dark got him wondering how he could do this more safely.

Exercise and fitness are essential for everyone. The chemicals that are released reduce anxiety and stress, and increase happiness. Even just a short run or quick game of squash or football can make a massive difference.

Exercise is also an opportunity to take some time out to let your brain relax and wander. I often get my best ideas in the gym or on the squash court. It’s a great thing to do when you’re feeling low energy or uninspired.

Although I know the days feel short at the moment, exercise doesn’t need to take a big chunk out of your day. It’s not just about improving your fitness, but about setting some time aside to clear your mind. I really can tell the difference between the days I stuck to my routine and the days I didn’t; when I skip my usual exercise I feel I am constantly trying to catch up with my day.

I see the same thing happening in my team. Energy levels are so much higher when people have taken some time out to take one of the many exercise classes! It’s incredible to see so many of the team getting involved with something new all the time, joining our running club, taking part in kettle bells or doing yoga. I believe that setting challenges in the gym will help them set challenges elsewhere too.

Well done Ron for your achievements in sport and business, and thank you for continuing to inspire people to break their habits!

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