A day with Risqat: Our physical activity intern & resident athlete

My day starts at 07:00 this morning with weight training at the gym. I’m an athlete so fitting training around work can mean some early starts! Once I get to the office today I’m straight back out again for the preview of the ‘This Girl Can‘TV advert for Sport England’s new campaign to celebrate active women (no matter their activity/why they do it/level of fitness) and inspire more women and girls to move more and overcome any barriers they may face. The event was held at the BAFTAs building in Piccadilly and hosted by the charismatic Claire Balding. Watch the briliant advert here: http://bit.ly/1u137oe and visit the website for more information on the campaign, tips on getting into sport and the social media response!

After an exciting morning it’s back to head office for me to have lunch (today is garlic & herb chicken with Moroccan vegetable rice – I’m a big foodie so it’s always something tasty) and get on with the day. As the physical activity intern I get to be involved in multiple projects so my days always vary. This afternoon I’m working the physical activity team blog; tweaking the site, writing and uploading posts. Then I’m busy updating an England-wide survey for walking for health as we’re working towards linking projects together to increase awareness and get more people walking. The last portion of my day is spent managing the teams’ attendance and presentations at upcoming conferences. It’s important for us to have a presence at relevant events to influence the changing tide of inactivity and health in the UK and spread the physical activity message far and wide.

I usually leave work at 17:00 and tonight I haven’t got any specific track training but I’m going to do some yoga. It’s a physical activity beneficial to all ages and has a hugely positive response from people living with and beyond cancer, with many studies showing an increase in quality of life. I enjoy it because it’s relaxing and helps my back!

There you have it, one day in the life of me! Risqat

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