Over the next 6 months, working with the Outdoor Industries Association, I’m taking part in a series of outdoor ‘Adventures 4 Health’, the first of which is climbing Mount Snowdon on Saturday 18 May 2019 and I was hoping you would consider joining me.
Two years ago I turned 50, hit 22 stone on the scales and was being medicated for Type 2 diabetes. I’d spent most of the last 20 years sat in the House of Commons and I hardly spent any time outdoors, let alone starting physical activity. I was part of a wider trend in society of people spending less time doing activities outdoors and even a decline in the number of hours children spend playing outside. Over the last two years I’ve managed to change my life – taking up exercise and transforming my diet. I’m now 7 stone lighter, have put my Type 2 diabetes in remission and feel the best I ever have.
This year I want to go further and encourage other people struggling with their weight, or just wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle, to join in with me.
Along the way I’ll be working with organisations and policy makers who promote this kind of outdoor activity and at the end of it all I’ll be putting together an outdoor activity strategy for the Labour Party which we’ll implement in Government.
We’ll also be raising money for some great causes along the way: JK Rowling's Lumos charity, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, The Albion Foundation and SpecialEffect.
Over the next 6 months, working with the Outdoor Industries Association, I’m taking part in a series of outdoor ‘Adventures 4 Health’ in which I’ll be:
1 - Climbing Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales in May
2 - Canoeing the canals of the Black Country in July
3 - Cycling 46 miles around London and Surrey in August
4 - Swimming the Serpentine in September
Though I’m fitter now than I’ve been for years I still think of myself as an overweight middle-aged bloke, and these physical challenges are daunting. I hope by taking part I’ll show other people who are worried about their weight, or just want to get healthier and more active, how accessible outdoor activities can be.
I would be delighted if you would contribute to that policy making process.
There’s already a group of MPs, staff members and friends committed to support and we would love others to join.
Best wishes and many thanks