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Advice Surgery

If you’d like any advice on how to begin your new Active Outdoors or Active Indoors venture, including tips on nutrition and how to take your exercise to the next level, our advisors are ready to help.

Running Advisor – Barbara Sparshott

I’ve been running for about 20 years and started with a friend from work who wanted to get fit. After a while I entered a few 5k fun runs and then 10k races. In the last 5 years I moved up to half marathons as well as some duathlons (run, bike, run).

I’m most definitely not a sprinter but I do have fairly good endurance and can plod along at the same speed for a reasonable distance! I’ve been a dancing and fitness instructor for a number of years and recently decided to get my UK Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness qualification.

I’m just an average person who was never sporty when I was younger – if I can do it, anyone can! You’ll always feel better for having gone out for a run no matter how short or slow you think the run was!

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Walking Advisor – Mike Holliday

Hello, I started walking in non-competitive walking events across Europe about 6 years ago with little previous experience of distance walking. The first event I took part in was the Barcelona International Walk, a walk of 20 km per day for two days around the hills and through the centre of the city.

Since that time I have completed walking events in 14 different European countries including the largest participation walk in the world in Nijmegen in the Netherlands (4 days of 40 km per day – a total of just over 100 miles) which annually attracts over 40,000 participants from around the world and is the second largest sporting spectator event in Europe after the Tour De France with huge crowds cheering on those walking.

If you are interested in walking and travel, want new challenges and to meet people from across the world I can provide advice and information on how this can be achieved. There is no excuse as I have met a gentlemen aged 92 from Japan walking at an event in Germany.

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Cycling Advisor – Allan Whitaker

I have over 40 years experience of cycling, commuting to work and racing regularly mainly in time trials and sportive’s. Regularly commuting over 100 miles a week on rural, urban and inner city roads means I understand the issues traffic and other obstacles present to a cyclist.

With lots of experience in getting new cyclists and athletes to start up and progress, I have the knowledge and techniques to get the best out of training and racing. I am a member of a cycling club and British Cycling, being active in ensuring races take place and are open to all.

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Personal Training Advisor – Michael Hobbs-Aldridge

I hold a BSc (Hons) degree in Sport & Exercise Sciences from the University of Birmingham. Shortly after graduating, I accepted a position in London working for a well-respected doctor as a Physiologist primarily advising clients on health and lifestyle changes.

I have been a keen sportsman from a young age representing my county at rugby, athletics/cross-country running, cricket and chess at schoolboy level. More recently, I became involved in British Masters Athletics and since 2008 I have won 10 British Masters titles including age group gold medals at 5000m, 10,000m (track), 10k, half marathon and cross country. I have represented the British Masters cross country team on 4 occasions at the Home Nations event against Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

I have a thorough understanding of endurance training methodology and I am always happy and willing to share this information with other runners at any level. I play an active role in my local athletics group and continue to compete on a regular basis as well as advising others on training plans from 5k up to a marathon.

I am currently preparing for my next marathon and hope to run close to 2 hrs 30. I also have an entry to the British Masters 10k event in April 2019. In June 2019, I am starting a sports massage qualification and hope to be fully qualified by August 2019.

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Michael Aldridge

Nutrition and Personal Training Advisor – Daniel Price

Hi, my name is Daniel. At my heaviest, I was just over 20st. It got to a point where my health was starting to cause me issues: I hated how I felt and how I looked. I didn’t like what I was becoming so I started to teach myself about health and nutrition, firstly for my own benefit but then with a view to helping others if I could.

I currently have a Level 3 CPD Diet & Nutrition Advisor certificate and I’m currently working on a Level 3 CPD Personal Trainer certification. I’ve been gym going for over 5 years now and have a good grasp on the fundamentals of strength training and its many benefits.

If there’s any way I can help you to become a healthier, fitter you then please ask. I can’t promise to give you help and advice to enable you to change dramatically overnight, but to make you better today than you were yesterday and to make any changes sustainable and long lasting.’

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Nutrition Advisor – Natasha Barnes

I’m a busy 35-year-old mum of a 5 & 7-year-old! It’s important to me that we follow a good balanced diet & exercise regularly to ensure we’re healthy & strong enough to face life’s challenges!

I’m very much looking forward to answering your questions.

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