I’ve signed up to the Simplyhealth Great North Run 5k on Saturday 9 September.

You may ask yourself why someone who is a complete non-runner and who doesn’t live in the North East is doing such a thing.

It's all part of my Newcastle Can initiative. The UK is facing an obesity crisis, which is now recognised as the single biggest threat to the nation’s health.

Newcastle Can is all about getting communities in the city working together to become fitter and healthier and help turn the tide against obesity.

If you haven’t already then please do sign up to join Newcastle Can. You’ll get bags of free help and advice on healthy weight loss and keeping fit. If you want to run the Simplyhealth Great North 5k with me, then sign up here and make sure you select the Newcastle Can wave!

There's less than 2 months to go before the event, with plenty of time to prepare, but how many times have we heard the excuse that we would only run if we had the time?

Every minute of your day feels like it's whether you’re taking the kids to school, doing the weekly food shop, heading to work or everything in between, there’s barely time to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone go for a run!

Exercise shouldn’t take a backseat as it is so important to look after your body and keep healthy. With a bit of rescheduling and a shift in routine, running will become just another thing to tick off your To-Do List.

Lunch Breaks

If you have an hour for lunch, you can definitely fit a run into your day. Bring your trainers and workout kit to the office, then head out as soon as it hits lunchtime.

You’ll give yourself a break from the desk and some much-needed fresh air.

Early Start

Although many people will balk at the idea of sacrificing their beauty sleep, getting up early to go for a run is actually a great way to start your day. It gets your muscles working, your heart pumping and it kick starts your metabolism – all before breakfast!

Short Runs 

You don’t need to be out running for hours on end as if it’s an endurance event. Try doing some hill sprints, as they will get your heart racing in no time.

It’s also really good to switch up your exercise and make it interesting with different paces and distances, rather than treading the same route over and over.c A short run is better than no run at all!

Make it Social

On top of all the boring errands that daily life throws at you, you’ll want to make time for your friends and family. Instead of meeting up for a coffee, why not go for a slow jog in the park while you catch up?

You could suggest a family run rather than a trip to the cinema. It’s much cheaper and you won’t be tempted by the big boxes of popcorn!

Finally, if you really can’t fit running into day, then don’t beat yourself up over it. Sometimes we just have too much on to take an hour out.

Instead of sacrificing your health and fitness, try shorter activities like yoga videos from YouTube, which you can do in your own living room!