Jog your way into a healthy 2017

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If you’re determined to turn over a new leaf in 2017 – you want to feel healthier and better about yourself or lose a few pounds and make some new friends – then jog your way into January.

Founded in 2009, Jog Derbyshire is the county’s recreational jogging network with groups all across Amber Valley.

It is a county-wide project which aims to encourage people to become fitter and be more active by starting to jog on a regular basis with people of similar fitness levels.

Anyone who is new to jogging, or has not run for a long time, can be guided through a series of gentle walking and jogging programmes led by a qualified Jog Derbyshire leader.

Jog co-ordinator Lucy Bartles, who helped set up the scheme, previously worked at the William Gregg VC Leisure Centre in Heanor and took part in the 2016 Robin Hood Half Marathon.

The mum of two hopes to break down the barriers to participation in jogging.

“It’s not just for the elite – it’s about everyone getting involved, from walking to jogging or jogging to running,” she said.

Lucy, from Belper, has run ‘on and off’ for the last decade, maintaining her interest since school, and believes that passion will help her inspire others.

“A lot of people think that they can’t get involved, but I want to show them they can and support them in doing it.

“So often the hardest step for people is to get started and get motivated, and I certainly hope I can make a difference.”

Jog Derbyshire is part of the Active Derbyshire campaign overseen by Derbyshire Sport, and funded through the BIG Lottery, Sport England lottery funding and Derbyshire County Council.

The emphasis is on having fun and making new friends with people of similar fitness levels.

“It’s great going along to a jog group because it’s much easier to keep going when you’re chatting with people than when you’re on your own. It takes your mind off what you’re doing,” she said.

“People worry what other people think and you are your own biggest critic, but it is something you can overcome and you have to remember that you are going quicker than anyone sat on the sofa.

“The group gives people the confidence to know they can do it if they set their mind to it. And you soon realise you are jogging with like-minded people. You can have a bit of a catch-up and I’ve become quite good friends with a few people in the group where we’ve arranged some of our own training runs on the back of it,” Lucy added.

Jog Into January is simple. All sessions are low cost or free and are open to adults across the county including Ripley, Ilkeston and Belper.

They are all for complete beginners, and are all led by qualified jog leaders, who provide step by step instruction from walking and jogging your first steps to jogging your first 5k.

What’s more, after you successfully attend for ten weeks, you get a certificate to show just how well you’ve done. And, when you go on to complete 5k, you’ll also get a medal.

What better way to start your new year by jogging in January and setting the tone for the coming year.

For more information, visit www.derbyshiresport.co.uk/jog-derbyshire.