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Active Travel Month

Active Travel Month is here and we are encouraging you to get active outside!

The benefits of getting active outside include improving your physical, and mental, health. So why not take advantage of the current situation, and get outside with your friends or family!

Activity Challenge

Activity Challenge

As part of Active Travel Month, Queen’s Environmental and Staff Wellbeing Team are launching the ‘Activity Challenge’ from 15th June to 10th July.

The Activity Challenge encourages you to get outside and get active. The benefits of getting active include improving your wellbeing as well as your physical and mental health. So why not get outside with your friends, family and colleagues!


Queen's Activity Challenge

What is the Activity Challenge?

The Activity Challenge is a competition which is designed to encourage staff to get active by walking running, cycling or by undertaking home workouts. 

How does it work?

You can take part by logging your walks, runs and bike rides via the “Queen’s University Activity Challenge 2020” club on the Strava App. For further information on how to use Strava click here

Activities can include a walk, run, cycle or home workout, and this year the challenge will not measure distance travelled, rather the time spent exercising.

If you do not wish to use the Strava App, we are able to take information for your activities via email. Please email qubactivitychallenge@qub.ac.uk with your information.

Although the Strava App will not group you as a team, you can still compete as a team! To do so please fill in the Microsoft Form with the team name and members, and we will collate the information and data manually. The Form can be found here.

What charity are we supporting this year?

We will be raising funds for the brilliant Action Mental Health charity! To donate, please visit the Just Giving Page. The recommended donation is £5.00.

What prizes are available this year?

There will be prizes for the best Social Media (use #QUBActivityChallenge2020) and Most Activity for both Individual and Team as well as the Most Improved.

Whilst getting outside, and meeting your family, friends and colleagues, please remember to follow government guidelines.

Active Travel Month

Why are we encouraging you to get out, and get active?

Being inactive is a serious threat to our collective health – research has revealled that physical activity can reduce the risk of heart and circulatory disease, diabetes and cancer. It is recommended that that adults take part in 2.5 hours of moderate activity per week, and this can be achieved by swapping short car journeys with cycling or walking. 

Further, being active is great for your wellbeing. Studies have shown that physical activity can be used to overcome, and even prevent depression and anxiety. According to the Mental Health Foundation, physical activity can be as effective as medication and counselling. 

Finally, by walking or cycling, instead of driving, limits the amount of pollution entering our atmosphere. By choosing sustainable transport we can all do our part to clean up the air in our cities.

If you're thinking about getting active, check out our top tips below!

Please ensure you follow government guidelines whilst walking and cycling

Cycling

Where can you Cycle?

Belfast is becoming increasingly cycle-friendly. Whether you want to cycle for fun or commute to and from work or school, there are plenty of cycle lanes, off-road paths and riverside terraces to try. Check out where you can go here

Don't live in Belfast? Why not check out the CycleNI website for routes near you!

Cycling with the Family

The current situation provides you with a great opportunity to get out on your bike with your family, particularly due to the roads being less busy!

However, if you are still worried about driving on roads, check out Sustrans 'Easy Rides in Northern Ireland' webpage. It recommends safe routes, and provides you with all the information you will need. 

If your wee ones are still using stabilisers why not check out this 'how to teach your child to ride a bike without stabilisers in nine steps' guide. 

Sustrans have launched their new 'Sustrans Outside In' initiative that provides weekly inspiration and resources for lockdown activities, games and challenges. For more information click here

Check out the wonderful journeys that you can take within Belfast...

 

Do you live on or near the Raven Hill Road? Check out how you can cycle to Queen's!
Queen's cyclist Neill shows us an easy, and beautiful, way to cycle into Belfast along the Lagan Towpath!

Getting started...

Chosing and purchasing your bike

Not sure what bike to get? Check out what types of bikes are available. 

Despite the current situation, a range of bike shops are open. A range of bikes and eqipment is available from McConvey Cycles. 

Cycle Plus

Queen's staff are eligible, and can still avail, of the Cycle Plus even during the current situation. 

This initiative allows staff to purchase a bike and safety equipment through a salary sacrifice arrangement, therefore saving significantly on costs.

Further information on Cycle Plus can be found here

How to maintain your bike

If you haven't been using your bike recently, make sure you check your bike before you head out! Check out these 11 simple steps to make sure your bike is safe. 

Finally, you can book your bike in for a free bike check at Halfords!

Walking

Walking 

Walking is a great way to find out more about an area, improve your health, protect and learn about the environment. Whilst working at home, it is even more important to get outside regularly! 

This is why Queen's are launching the Active Challenge, to encourage you to get safely outside and active with friends, family and colleagues. 

In light of the current lockdown the Government is advising for walkers to stay local, and only follow trails close to your home.

Looking for inspiration on where to go for your next walk? Check out the WalkNI website!