Every Saturday at 9am Lydiard Park hosts a park run in which those taking part run 5km against the clock.

Everyone is welcome, whether amateur or professional, with dogs and buggies also allowed.

The event is free, but it is vital to pre-register online by 6pm the night before.

The most recent figures published by the NHS show that thousands more patients each year are being admitted due to obesity-related illness, sparking fresh concerns about the potentially life-threatening problems that can stem from overeating and not doing enough exercise.

It’s a message that we are constantly bombarded with, but clearly not enough attention is being payed if these new figures are anything to go by.

It can be tricky to get the motivation to get up and direct energy into exercise as opposed to bingeing, but organisations such as parkrun help to combat this lack of commitment by gathering a large number of people with the same aim so that the temptation to not bother is lessened. Statistics show exercising with a friend is more successful than doing it alone, mainly because the moral support is shared and there is a joint goal.

Every week the run is supervised by a team of local volunteers, who encourage attendees to meet them afterwards for a coffee and reflection on how the morning went.

The group has become increasingly popular since its launch in March, with a membership of over 600 people. If you are interested in taking part, visit

Swindon Advertiser: Blob By Sophie Grubb, 17, Cirencester College