The Wardley Wellbeing Hub is the central area for the ACTNow campaign.
Be Active: On your bike!
Our ACTNow campaign theme this week is Be ACTive and across the week we’ve been sharing a variety of resources and tips to help you do this to support your wellbeing.
Over the years, many of you have inspired us with a variety of physical challenges in support of the charity – running, hiking, climbing, & swimming – but given this week also marks #BikeWeekUK we thought we’d use it as an opportunity to check in with our amazing charity cyclists!
As many of you bikers out there will know cycling remains a great way to keep fit and active and is a good way to boost immunity. PLUS it’s also great for your mental wellbeing. We caught up with our Triplet bikers from the PCPA (Graham Stretch, Helen Kilminster & Robin Conibere), our Amsterdam bikers from The Pharmacist Collective (Tohidul Islam and Siddiqur Rahman) and our current cycling wonder woman Kathryn Murray! Here’s what they had to say about their cycling activities and how getting out and being active has boosted their wellbeing.
“I feel energised after a long bike ride which also improves my general fitness as I often have to drive long hours during my locum shift work on a regular basis.”
“What made me transition from a couch potato to a bike enthusiast was that I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to improve my mental wellness as I was working full-time in a new role in general practice, studying a postgraduate course part-time, helping to run a household with three young children.”
Read their full stories below.
Amsterdam Bound Bikers
Hello! My name is Tohidul Islam and I am a Locum Pharmacist as well as the CEO of The Pharmacist Cooperative (TPC). After a hard day shift working in community pharmacy, I like to cycle in the evenings to relax and unwind as well as improve my mental wellbeing in readiness for the next working day.
I feel energised after a long bike ride which also improves my general fitness as I often have to drive long hours during my locum shift work on a regular basis. I have cycled London to Paris twice for charity and the opportunity rose to cycle from London to Amsterdam in a country well known for cycling with their flat cycling roads. Along with my fellow director and friend, Siddiqur Rahman, as well as some of The Pharmacist Cooperative team, we were proud to raise money and awareness for Pharmacist Support during this charity bike ride. The Pharmacist Cooperative firmly believes in giving something back to the pharmacy profession. As well as being rewarding it’s exciting knowing that we have contributed to the world of pharmacy to raise awareness of this fantastic charity.
Hello! My name is Siddiqur Rahman and I am a Practice Pharmacist as well as a director of The Pharmacist Cooperative (TPC). Somehow, my friend and founder of TPC, Tohidul Islam convinced me to cycle 180 miles with him for a charity bike ride from London to Paris and at that point, I had only ridden a BMX before when I was ten years old and hadn’t cycled for nearly 20 years!
The problem was the London to Paris excursion was due to take place in 12 weeks time and I wasn’t even in possession of a road bike! What made me transition from a couch potato to a bike enthusiast was that I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to improve my mental wellness as I was working full-time in a new role in general practice, studying a postgraduate course part-time, helping to run a household with three young children as well as championing pharmacists as part of my work with The Pharmacist Cooperative.
After advice from a local cycling group that I later joined as well as watching YouTube videos, I downloaded the Strava app and started tracking my rides and speed which gave me confidence that I was able to cycle long-distance rides and keep pace with fellow cyclists. This not only improved my enjoyment of cycling, it also improved my mental wellbeing and resilience as I was able to cycle at my own pace whilst enjoying the freedom it gives me to enjoy the local sights such as the beautiful Essex countryside and the historical London landmarks as well as improving my overall fitness and health. I followed a strict training plan which I thrived on and was able to successfully cycle from London to Paris without any issues. This whet my appetite and gave me to confidence to cycle 140 miles from London to Amsterdam with Tohidul and a few of the Pharmacist Cooperative team the following year this time in aid of Pharmacist Support. This ride provided me with an opportunity to give something back to the pharmacy profession that we are extremely proud of and to raise money and awareness of the important work Pharmacist Support does for Pharmacists and their families.
Super Hero Biker
Hello my name is Kathryn and I’m the lead clinical trials pharmacist at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. Despite the COVID19 lockdown my daily commute to work by bicycle continues and has become even more important to me and my wellbeing. The ride helps me relax after a busy day & I find myself taking time to notice my surroundings – the signs of new life in the nature around me & hope for the future. Cycling along the River Taff on my way home from work is definitely helping me stay sane during these mad times.
Back in 2018 this amazing trio from the PCPA consisting of Graham Stretch, Helen Kilminster and Robin Conibere set themselves the challenge of cycling (on a triplet bike no less!) from the RPS HQ in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris – using the challenge to raise valuable funds for the charity. Despite a few bumps and bruises along the way – along with some rather painful public leg waxing sessions to boost funds! – this cycling experience enabled them to better connect as colleagues, providing encouragement, motivation and support when needed. Check out their film memories of the ride: https://youtu.be/lwJgQvqrQls