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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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#AboutABike

Little changes form better habits

Chats in the Zoom office this week, inspired by Kellie Anderson’s blog on personal prevention strategies sparked sharing of our own little changes we might have made for the better against all the strange WFH/Lockdown/Covid odds.

Annie S. Anderson, SCPN Co-director

It started with the lockdown garage clear out where we discovered our mothers’ old tea sets. Memories of teacups and saucers from our childhood homes which were saved in glass cabinets and taken out only for special visitors (e.g. the minister or visiting aunts from Canada). 

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Netflix and Spin

I remember the feeling I had when I took my bike selfie below – it was the first time I had been on a bike ride for years … and I felt brilliant! The rain poured, the wind blew and my Raynaud’s stricken fingers were chalk white… but I reached my destination, and surprisingly I had 11 kilometres of fun along the way (and 11 kilometres of fun on my way home too!)

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Could electrically assisted bikes keep people active and healthier, for longer?

A quiet revolution is happening on our streets and in our countryside with the escalation in sales and use of electrically assisted bikes (e-bikes) with 60,000 purchased in the UK in 2019 alone, compared with 3 million regular bikes sold in the same time-period. Correctly called a pedelec (not to be confused with a pedalo – which is an altogether different form of activity), e-bikes are enabling people of all abilities to experience cycling whether for recreation, adventures, active commuting or shopping.

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My E-bike Changed My Life

It’s hard to imagine that only 3 years ago I gave up cycling all together, having been a keen cyclist throughout my whole life. At the age of almost 60, I now have chronic osteoarthritis in my right knee due to motor bike accidents when I was young and loads of hill running, hill walking and cycling.  Cycling (and walking) was causing a lot of pain in my knee, especially on long, hard cycle climbs. I even went as far as selling my carbon road bike and put my pride and joy mountain bike, a high-end, full-suspension bike, into storage.

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My E-bike Joy! – Nanette Mutrie

I have been a ‘commuting cyclist’ for most of my working life, wherever I lived and worked I have always tried to find a way to cycle to work – some exercise – not needing to use car – some clearing of thoughts- some fresh air- being my main motivators. All of these were high on my agenda. But now in my late 60s, but still working part-time I began to wonder about an e-bike.

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ABC – Activity, Bikes and Cancer Prevention #AboutABike

In 2015, I wrote a blog called #AboutABike which coincided with our social media campaign of the same name. I enjoyed reflecting about bikes in my family and my resistance to Lycra and the importance of being active every day. This year a new chapter opened in my cycling saga….

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Men’s Health – #Aboutabike

This month we have been highlighting mens health as part of #MensHealthMonth. MHM includes supporting men to increase or maintain physical activity levels depending on current activity levels (often tricky in older years as knee and join pain become more apparent!). Cycling has the potential to help many people achieve suggested physical activity goals, especially if incorporated into everyday life. However, not everyone can cycle sufficient distances due to poor physical fitness, long commuting distance and steep Scottish hills! Electric bikes (e-bikes) can make cycling more accessible to the wider population providing uphill and long distance assistance. Of course, some people will believe that e-cycling does not constitute exercise due to the assistance given by the bike, BUT continual pedalling is still required before assistance from the bike kicks in. Furthermore, a recent systematic review reports e-bikes provide moderate intensity physical activity for both physically active and inactive individuals [1]. 

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Be Physically Active Every Day and Enjoy #AboutABike

The European Code Against Cancer site provides a clear message, a range of frequently asked questions and a link to the published evidence base on physical activity and cancer risk reduction. So if you plan to talk to folks about cancer prevention and the role of physical activity this is a perfect starting point.

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#AboutABike: City Cycling

I have always for as long as I can remember cycled in cities. As a medical student I bravely rode from University College Hospital in central London over Hampstead Hill to Golders Green. I rode come rain, come shine. It saved me so much money and kept me super fit. It cast a dice for future cycling adventures much later in my life; TransAmerica: Los Angeles to Boston, Cambodia, Rajasthan India, Austria and St Malo to Nice.

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