There was cause for celebration on Monday (6 July) at a ceremony held at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow for those involved with the 5x50 Challenge. In attendance were the challenge’s founders, core team, and key representatives of the 2015 chosen charities – Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS), Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), Children 1st, Macmillan Cancer Support and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
The Challenge was created in 2012 by Raymond Wallace and Kelly Mason to encourage people from as many countries as possible to undertake 5km or 30 minutes of exercise a day for 50 consecutive days. The thinking behind it is that if you do a task consistently and repeatedly for 19-21 days, it becomes a habit. Challengers make a life changing commitment to a healthier lifestyle leading to improved physical and mental health. Co-founder Raymond Wallace said: "This started as a personal challenge in 2012 – but the impact the challenge has had in such a short period is amazing.”
This year, the challenge started on 29 March and ended on 17 May, with over 4,000 challengers participating and raising over £25,000 for the chosen charities. Emma Connor, fundraising manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are very grateful for this donation. Without generous organisations like this, we couldn’t continue to support those who need our help most.”
Similarly, Gillian McManus who received the cheque on behalf of SAMH, stated, “As one of our ‘Five ways to better mental health’, staying active is great, not only for your physical health, but also your mental health. The 5x50 challenge was a great opportunity to get involved, get active and look after your mental wellbeing.”
Key supporters of the 5x50 Challenge also attended, including endurance runner, Doctor Andrew Murray who commented: "If everyone were to take part in the 5×50 challenge, it would increase happiness and health. Regular exercise increases life expectancy, and can help prevent and treat many illnesses.” runABC contributor, Shona Thomson, is also a supporter of the challenge and enthused, "I think the 5x50 challenge is an amazing way to test yourself and get fit at the same time. I’m thrilled to be supporting and really enjoy participating".
The fifth 5X50 Challenge kicks off on Sunday 27 March 2016. If you would like to get involved, you can sign up at the 5x50 website.