Strictly Come Dancing star Darcey Bussell will lead a mass-workout in Central London to kick-start National Fitness Day on 27th September.
The legendary ballerina will be joined at Paddington Recreation Ground by hundreds of participants for a 7:30am dance fitness session called ‘Wake up and Work out’, based on her DDMIX training concept.
Darcey will be joined by stars from the venue operator Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme, with Olympic silver medallist hurdler Colin Jackson and Olympic gold medallist Hockey forward Alex Danson taking part in the early morning workout.
National Fitness Day, co-ordinated by not-for-profit health body ukactive, takes place on 27th September. It sees the nation celebrate the fun and thrills of physical activity through a range of free events and activity sessions. Last year’s National Fitness Day got over a million people active across 18,000 events – making it the most active day of 2016 – with the aim for to go even bigger this year.
Gym operators and physical activity providers across the UK will once again play a central role on the day, flinging open their doors to offer the public a range of free taster sessions and gym passes. This forms a rare and invaluable opportunity for all sections of society to embrace the fun of fitness and for gyms to showcase the great activities they have on offer.
The National Fitness Day kick-off event will receive an injection of youth at 10:00am with the arrival of hundreds of schoolchildren to enjoy a range of activities run by Everyone Active. This will coincide with youth workouts across the UK for the ‘10 at 10’ project, which will see children in thousands of schools take part in a 10-minute workout at 10am.
This year’s National Fitness Day will be the most wide-ranging ever, with diverse elements taking place across the country. Alongside the myriad of activities being provided in schools and fitness facilities across the UK, partners AXA PPP healthcare and Argos will be taking National Fitness Day into workplaces and high streets respectively.
AXA PPP healthcare will work with its corporate partners to encourage employees to kick-start their working day with an early morning workout or active commute as part of a campaign called ‘Flying Start’. Meanwhile, Argos will bring physical activity to the high-streets once again, with a range of activities taking place inside and outside the retailer’s hundreds of stores.
Alongside this, UK-based music licensing company, PPL, is sponsoring the Official National Fitness Day Playlist. The playlist, which contains a selection of motivational tracks from PPL’s fitness sector music reporting data, is set to get Britons up and moving across the country.
ukactive CEO Steven Ward said: “National Fitness Day is a fantastic chance to spotlight physical activity and the role it plays in creating a healthier nation. These free events across the country provide a chance for everyone to experience the fun of fitness and carry forward healthy habits.
“The day also offers a fantastic opportunity for the physical activity sector to unlock new markets and attract new members by promoting the broad benefits of movement to the length and breadth of the British nation.”
Darcey Bussell said: “Diverse Dance Mix and I are delighted to be a part of National Fitness Day again this year. We are passionate about getting all people moving through dance fitness and can’t wait to kickstart the day with DDMIX.
“DDMIX is a fun full-body workout for all ages, levels and abilities and I’m looking forward to working with ukactive to encourage people to embrace the fun of fitness across the UK.”
Everyone Active’s regional director, Duncan Jefford, said: “Our aim is to encourage as many people as possible to benefit from getting active. National Fitness Day offers a unique opportunity for the entire health and fitness industry to work together to promote this message, and we’re delighted to help get it off to a flying start.
“The event at Paddington Recreation Ground will be a perfect way to kick-start a day of activity. We have more than 150 centres nationwide that will be providing people with free and fun ways to get active with the aim of inspiring them to improve their health and wellbeing.”
PPL UK Chief Executive Peter Leathem said: “We are delighted to be supporting National Fitness Day. Music can be a great motivational tool when working out.
“We hope that The Official National Fitness Day Playlist will inspire people to get active and most importantly, have fun whilst doing it.”
ukactive has also launched a brand-new website, which signposts to the thousands of active events taking place around the country. Operators can register their National Fitness Day events on the site using the simple upload tool, and users can then search for all activities which are in the vicinity of their postcode from the end of August.
The website will also be the lynchpin for the National Fitness Day #Fitness2Me social media campaign. In 2016, Fitness2Me engaged celebrities and the public alike on what physical activity means to them, garnering support from high-profile names such as Max Whitlock and Rio Ferdinand.
This year’s iteration sees an expansion of the campaign, ramping up direct engagement and demonstrating the variety of impacts physical activity has on people in terms of mental and physical health. ukactive members will be encouraged to get customers sharing their own Fitness2Me stories, adding a new element to the campaign and helping to grow their local social media reach.