Jantastic is a unique and exciting digital challenge that gives individuals and teams the structure and motivation to achieve their personal fitness, health and performance goals through the tough winter months. It’s perfect for that New Year’s resolution to add some physical activity into your lifestyle.

It’s a wonderful tool for whether you’re already an exercise junkie or just starting out with some moderate physical activity, and for the first time, Jantastic participants can set fitness targets in running, cycling and swimming (or a combination of the three) and also have the option of raising money for Macmillan via a one-off donation or by fundraising as they commit to their fitness goals.

Jantastic works across three distinct four-week blocks. Each block is about setting yourself a personal running/swimming/cycling goal and as Jantastic progresses through January, February and March so does the level of your challenge. And that’s the best part. It’s tailored to YOU and the level you are happy to start with, whether that’s walking 10 minutes or running for 30.

If you coordinate or help run a physical activity project encourage your service users to take part in Jantastic as motivation to reach their physical activity goals, whatever they are.

For more information about Jantastic head to https://www.jantastic.me/

Why we’re getting sporty

Physical Activity can have huge health benefits for people with cancer. So to encourage more people to get active, we’ve teamed up with Sport England to fund a new project called Get Healthy, Get into Sport.

One of the project’s ambassadors is Jonathan Deakin, who’s been a personal trainer for 18 years and was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour. In his role, he advises other people living with cancer about being physically active at levels that are right for them.

Jonathan says, ‘As the project ambassador, I hope to be able to pass on my experience of how exercise can be beneficial. I’m in the unique position of being able to appreciate the patient’s viewpoint.

‘I’ve always been extremely active and throughout my treatment I continued to exercise, albeit not as much. I feel that the combination of daily exercise like walking, together with a balanced strength training programme really helped me.

‘I may not be exercising at the same intensity but I’m still feeling all the benefits, such as improved energy levels, mental alertness and better sleep. Even if you haven’t exercised much before, I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial it can be for people with cancer.

‘Physical Activity has been a huge factor in managing my disease. Every time I walk into the gym or play tennis it feels like a victory over the brain tumour.’

To find out more about how we’re helping people with cancer get active, visit www.macmillan.org.uk/physicalactivity

Knowledge exchange workshops


IMG_1151With the festive season upon us and projects in full planning mode for 2015, last week we delivered two Knowledge Exchange Workshops, one in Luton at the Inspire Facility and one in Manchester at the Manchester Giants Basketball Club Training Venue. The events brought together over 50 key stakeholders including Physical Activity Project Leads, Sports Development Officers, Senior Lecturers, Expert Advisors, Physiotherapists, Macmillan Development Managers and Service Users. There were representatives from across the UK in attendance that came from far and wide to hear what the hosts had to say about their exciting projects. The format of the day included a national Physical Activity update, host project update and an opportunity in the afternoon for projects to share their key successes and challenges and lessons learnt along the way.

Workshop attendees got a little extra physical activity as a lunchtime walk was led by our Walking for Health team to the local Chill Factor Snow dome in Manchester and the Luton attendees got free activity vouchers for the pool and gym.

As a result of the workshops we will be creating a knowledge hub where resources, tools and information can be accessed and shared, giving an opportunity to facilitate networking opportunities for those with a role in running and supporting Physical Activity projects for people affected by cancer.

Knowledge exchange workshops are free one day interactive events led by Macmillan’s Physical Activity team across the UK on a quarterly basis. Some of the feedback we have received from workshop included:

“an insightful workshop inspirational speech on exercise benefits for cancer #lifechanging #movemore

“very useful and enjoyable in terms of networking and sharing information”

“The workshop today was marvellous, keep the learning going”

“Fantastic #physicalactivity meeting held today by @MacMoveMore lots of sharing good practice and networking!”

Following the positive feedback from the people who attended the workshop we will be holding additional workshops across the UK on a quarterly basis.  The next two available workshops are Berkshire 11th March 2015 and Sheffield June 2015. Workshops are filled on a first come first served basis so if you are interested in sharing best practise and solutions with like-minded others contact physicalactivity@macmillan.org.uk to book a place.

Worlds BIGGEST coffee morning

Coffee morning may be over for another year but we wanted to share with you some of the exciting ways Macmillan’s physical activity team joined in with the fun…
This year the physical activity team was out in force attending coffee mornings. Rhian, Jenna and Risqat travelled to Maidenhead to take part in a physical activity themed coffee morning hosted by the Sport England and Macmillan funded Berkshire Well-Being Programme.
Fuelled by cake, the Walking for Health group launched the event with a led walk around the town centre followed by Walking Football tasters on the pitch. Other activities on offer throughout the day included a Boot camp and a Nordic Walking taster!
The Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Councillor James Evans, was among the special guests who took part alongside people of all ages and activity levels. After (and before!) working up an appetite, members of the public were invited to buy hot drinks and cake within the club lounge. The day was a fantastic example of bringing people together to enjoy physical activity.
Although this year’s official date was the 26th September, you can host a coffee morning, afternoon or tea all year round and raise money for a worthy cause whilst having fun visit www.macmillan.org.uk/coffeemorning to find out more.