Natural England
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Top medics serve up Health on a Beach

The Blue Gym aims to promote health and well being in the natural environment and save millions of pounds for the NHS.


As the nation heads for the coast, rivers and lakes on the busiest Bank Holiday weekend of the year, three top doctors are helping launch a new project ... and of course they’ll be grabbing their boards and hitting the waves!

Supported by Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Department of Health, the Blue Gym is a new initiative which aims to promote health and wellbeing and appreciation of the environment, as well as saving millions of pounds for the NHS.

The Blue Gym will create an information and communication hub to showcase activities and encourage use of the coastline and inland waterways.

Regular contact with the natural environment results in many benefits including:

  • Reduction in stress

  • Increased physical activity

  • Stronger communities

  • An increased awareness of the value of the natural environment

“It’s absolutely vital that to get healthy people we need to have a healthy environment. The natural environment is a treatment room where I can refer patients. The more stress reduction people have, the more activity they take, then the healthier they’re going to be,” said Dr William Bird GP, co-founder of the Blue Gym and Strategic Health Advisor to Natural England.

“This is just one location and the Blue Gym is part of the whole Natural Health Service, which is open right across the country. It’s time to get out there and enjoy it!” he continued.

The Blue Gym will not only help guide people to activities around, in, on or under water but will also be undertaking research with the Peninsula Medical School to provide evidence of its benefits. One such piece of research is already in the pipeline.

“We are keen to explore the role of the Blue Gym in improving preoperative fitness before major surgery and are developing a research project with the Blue Gym and Peninsula Medical School,” said Paul Peyser, Consultant Upper Gastrointestinal and Laparoscopic Surgeon and a keen surfer.

The Blue Gym social networking website has also been launched, so why not become a member?

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