A group of friends who’ve met through a physical exercise programme for people with recent experiences of cancer plan on taking on a 10k run in the New Year.
The running group has been set up as one of the options offered by Brighter Outlook, a free, personalised physical activity programme for people living with or beyond cancer in Brighton and Hove.
It is run by Albion in the Community (AITC), the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, is funded by NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group and supported by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Now in its second year, Brighter Outlook has already helped more than 200 people to become more physically active.
Research has shown that in most cases staying active during cancer treatment is safe and also has a host of positive impacts on health and fitness, including reduced fatigue, improved mood and decreased risk of the cancer reoccurring.
Brighter Outlook offers a variety of free to access activity options for people to suit all ages and abilities, from budding runners to seated circuits.
The new running group meets every Monday morning at 9.30am by the Peace Statue in Hove and the session is proving particularly popular despite none of the participants having had any previous experience of running.
In fact, the impact of the sessions has been so positive that the group has now targeted completing Brighton’s BM10k in April.
Hannah Howard is one of the Brighter Outlook runners and as well as the Monday sessions she now also regularly takes part in a local 5k Park Run with her son.
She said: “Being part of Brighter Outlook is incredible. I was never that into running before my cancer. It really makes me feel better and more positive every time I take part in a session, while also providing a sense of control and satisfaction in my day to day life.
“The key part of the programme is the social side. Everyone knows where you are coming from and have had similar experiences which give us a connection and someone to talk openly with.”
Fellow running group member Birgit Miller is also a big fan of Brighter Outlook.
She said: “I was told by my consultant to lose weight and get fit to help fight my type of cancer and our Brighter Outlook coach’s advice on the amount and type of exercise I do is invaluable. Unless you have some experience or professional knowledge you don’t know how much is realistic, how fast to pace yourself and what are some realistic goals to get you stronger.
“Brighter Outlook has improved my stamina so much and I’m getting much stronger as each week passes. I am exercising in a way I have never exercised before.”
For more information on Brighter Outlook, visit: www.brighteroutlook.org.uk or call: 01273 668591.