Team GB’s gold-winning diver, Matty Lee, Paralympic legend, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston joined gym goers to kick-off National Fitness Day, with thousands of free activities taking place across the UK.
The annual celebration of fitness has become known as the UK’s most active day of the year – in 2019 it inspired 19.1 million people to get moving – and today celebrates its 10th anniversary.
The theme for this year’s National Fitness Day, supported by TRX Training Club, is ‘Fitness Unites Us’, focusing on the ways that physical activity brings people together, no matter what their age, ability or background.
Joined by members of the public at Jubilee Hall Gym in Covent Garden, London, Matty Lee, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston MP, called the day a “golden opportunity” for the nation to begin a physical activity revolution.
A new poll from ukactive and Savanta ComRes found that less than a third (27%) of UK adults say they are as physically fit as they would like to be.
ukactive also released important sector growth modelling this week, which shows that memberships of gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres could grow by more than five million new members by 2030, which could spark a revolution in the UK’s physical activity levels.
Across the UK today, gyms, pools, leisure centres, sports clubs and online providers are offering free activities to engage and inspire people to try a new activity or reignite a love for an old one.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Paralympic champion and Chair of ukactive, said: “National Fitness Day is one of my favourite days of the year because you see so many smiling faces as people come together and enjoy being active, especially if it’s an activity they have just discovered.
“It’s been such a challenging time throughout the pandemic but it has also shown us how essential daily physical activity is for our physical and mental health and resilience.
“As well as being fun, sport and physical activity is the miracle pill that can alleviate many conditions – helping to reduce the burden on our NHS – and it also unites us, bridging divisions and binding communities together.
“We must seize this moment to get our nation moving more and we want to make sure that more people can experience the benefits of being more active in their daily lives.”
Matty Lee, Olympic gold medallist and ambassador for National Fitness Day, supported by TRX Training Club, said: “National Fitness Day celebrates the incredible impact that exercise has on our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as its social power to bring people together.
“This summer’s Olympics and Paralympics really helped to re-energise the nation following the COVID pandemic and now we have a golden opportunity to get people from all communities moving more.
“With all the free activities on offer, National Fitness Day is the perfect chance to try something new and fun that could help to keep you active all year round.”
Nigel Huddleston MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Heritage and Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “We all know how important fitness is to both our physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why the Government prioritised it throughout the lockdown, provided an unprecedented £1bn of financial support to support the sport and leisure sector and has placed it at the heart of its Coronavirus recovery plan.
“The Chief Medical Officer’s guidance is clear – children should aim for 60 minutes of physical activity a day, and adults two-and-a-half hours a week.
“With thousands of free and inclusive events arranged across the UK today, no matter what age or ability, I encourage everyone to try a local gym, pool, leisure centre or virtual class, and enjoy all the positive benefits that sport can bring.”
To find your nearest event, visit the National Fitness Day Activity Finder or search #FitnessDay on social media to get involved and share your fitness message.