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Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Get on your bike to get fit

It's lighter, ever so slightly warmer (on some days) and there's the faintest whiff of hope in the air as finally we all allow ourselves to look forward to spring and summer. So there's no better time to embrace your shiny new 2010 Get Fit for Summer campaign.

Whether it's walking, running, swimming or cycling that's your chosen activity why not give yourself a little momentum by aiming for a race? There's a host of mass participation events taking place across Scotland this year and there's sure to be one to suit your aspirations and location.

Better still, why not get fit – and raise money for charity? One new event that provides the ideal goal for women is the Pedal It Pink women-only cycle event. Coming to Scotland for the first time on Sunday May 16, the event aims to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Campaign – and get more women on their bikes.

Organisers are predicting hundreds of entries for the event, taking place in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. There will be a choice of routes from a family 5k lap to a half marathon (13.1 miles) to a full marathon (26.2 miles). All routes will be traffic-free on the day and are suitable for a wide range of cyclists.

Cycling offers a great all round, cardiovascular fitness. The average person will burn around 200 calories per 30 minutes cycling at a moderate pace. Pedal a bit faster and you'll burn more cals and also work your leg muscles just that bit harder. So, ladies, cycling will give those wobbly bits – the thighs and bum – a good work out.

Another great thing about cycling is that it can be done socially. Why not get out for a ride with friends or with your family? Scotland has a wealth of safe cycling routes, too, including many, many miles of Sustrans routes, both on-road and off-road, and more mountain biking trails than you could ever imagine. Scotland is Europe's number one mountain biking hotspot, don't you know?

All this cycling will have you aiming for the full marathon distance in the Pedal It Pink event, for sure. Entries are now open.

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