Tag Archives: Health

Are you taking part in the Great North Run?

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On your marks. Get set. Go!


On Sunday, 10th September, tens of thousands of tight-shorts-wearing folk will descend the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne ready to participate in the largest half marathon event in the entire world: the Simplyhealth Great North Run!

Held once a year, the mighty 13.1 mile route takes runners through the city centre towards the River Tyne, across the iconic Tyne Bridge and through Gateshead. They’ll travel onto South Shields; where, at the top of Prince Edward Road, they’ll get to soak up stunning sea views (no stopping, though!). Then, it’s just one mile ‘til they reach the finish line!

The atmosphere at the Great North Run is always electric, thanks to the thousand of enthusiastic supporters cheering from the sidelines of the entire route!

So, in ode to this amazing event, which has raised millions of pounds for charities over the years, here are some fun facts you may not know about the Great North Run:


  • The very first Great North Run was held on 38th June 1981, with 12,000 runners taking part.
  • The run was created by former Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist and BBC Sport commentator, Brendan Foster. Foster was inspired to create the event after participating in the Round the Bays Race in New Zealand in 1979.
  • Bupa was the title partner from the early ‘90s to up until 2014, making it one of Britain’s longest sports sponsorship agreements.
  • The total amount of metal used in the medals given to the finishers weighs a jaw-dropping 49 tonnes!
  • Martin Mathathi holds the current course record, crossing the finish line at 58:56 minutes in 2011. Mary Jepkosgei Keitany holds the women’s course record of 65:39 minutes, which was set in 2014.
  • In 2014, Mo Farah completed the race in exactly 1 hour and in 2016, became the first person to win the race three times consecutively.
  • In 2014, the 34th Great North Run welcomed 57,000 participants and was the first race in a whopping 29 years to have a British man win.
  • Many bands set up camp along the sidelines, the longest-serving being the Dinosaurs from Hell.
  • Race starters include the likes of Sting, Tony Blair, Sir Bobby Charlton, Jackie Charlton and Ant & Dec.
  • It takes 38 double-decker buses to drive all of the baggage to the finish line.
  • In the 2014 race, the 1 millionth runner crossed the finish line. Tracey Cramond, who was raising money for Butterwick Hospice, said she was “gobsmacked” and hailed the event her “moment of fame.”
  • It would take around 92,447 footballs lined up to complete the length of the course.


Now you feel a little more in-the-know about the wonderful Great North Run, do you feel inspired to take part? Unfortunately, this year’s race is closed, but places will soon be available for next year’s event, leaving you with plenty of time to get race-ready and raise some money for your charity of choice. Mo Farah, watch out…!

Time to burn off those Easter eggs!

Right, it’s time to confess: how many choccy eggs did you devour over Easter?

You thought your stash would last for weeks, but there’s something about Easter egg chocolate that makes it oh-so irresistible. It has what we call a ‘Pringle effect’ on us; once we take that first tongue-tantalising bite, we’re hooked and find it impossible to stop.

And when someone looks at you disappointedly and questions how you’ve managed to gobble three large eggs in one sitting, you have your reply ready: “Well…they are hollow!”

Which means they can’t be that many calories… right!?

If you believe ignorance is bliss, you may want to skip this section.

We found ourselves wondering how many cals are loaded into those hollow, choccy eggs, so we did some research.


We discovered a study by Bidvine, revealing the calorie content of the nation’s fave Easter eggs. If you were treated to a Dairy Milk XL Easter egg this year, you may be (unpleasantly) surprised to learn that it packs a whopping 1,758 calories (egg + bars). To burn off that many cals would take either 5.9 hours of walking, 3 hours of running, 2 hours of swimming, or 2.1 hours of squatting.

Cadbury caramel eggs packed the second highest amount of cals (1,683), followed by Mars (1,623), Flake/Wispa (1,562) and Double Decker (1,549). But if you enjoyed a Smarties egg, then don’t feel too bad they only contain 680 cals, although they’d still take 1.2 hours of running to burn off.

Time for some eggs-ercise!

Sorry, we don’t want to sound like Willy Wonka’s dentist Dad, groaning about eating too much chocolate. Besides, we all deserve to treat ourselves every now and then.

But if your egg-cessive egg munching has left you feeling full up and fed up, then some good ol’ fashion exercise will help. If you want to burn off your Easter eggs as quickly as possible, here are some activities to get involved in:


Like any sport, you get out what you put in. If you want to shift cals fast, then you need to push yourself on that court. Keep those legs moving!




The butterfly is a hard stroke to master, but it’s the best for burning fat. An hour’s worth of non-stop butterfly could burn around 1,000 calories and if you can manage that, then you deserve a medal!

Kick Boxing

Kick and punch those calories away! Book an intense one-on-one session with a trainer and you could shift around 1,000 cals in a single hour.



Bike Ride
Bike ride

No leisurely cruises…if you want to burn cals quick, you need to pedal fast, picking a route with long flats to practice your sprinting, plus a few hills for good measure. If you don’t have a bike to hop on, a 45-min spin class at the gym burns around 750 calories.

Go Ape!

There’s a reason Tarzan was so buff: swinging through the trees is hard graft! Completing one of our award-winning Tree Top Adventure courses burns around 510 calories in women, and 660 in men. And you’ll be having so much fun, you won’t even realise you’re exercising!

Our courses have tunnels you can crawl through, ladders you can clamber up, bridges you can swing on, and platforms you can leap off! So, what are you waiting for? Book your Go Ape adventure today!

Breakfast…the Go Ape way!


If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, does that make National Breakfast Week the most important week of the year?

Victoria Bowden - Go Ape Thetford ForestOk, so we’re getting a little too philosophical for a Monday morning, but we can all agree breakfast is a pretty major part of the day. So we asked the team at Go Ape Thetford how they power up for a full-on day in the forest. Here’s what Deputy Manager, Vic, had to say:

“We’ve all heard it before (dons whiney voice..)

 “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”

But you know what, I think they might be on to something.

Breakfast is so incredibly versatile. Hot, cold. Sweet, savoury. At the table, on the go. Eat in, Takeaway. 

That’s why I would hands down class it as my favourite meal of the lot. As a self-labelled “foodie” I get excited to go to bed, knowing what delights might await me in the kitchen in the morning! 

As Deputy Manager at Go Ape Thetford (the original forest adventure, there’s now 29 across the UK!) I am always on the go, as are all of the instructors whose job it is to make our customers experiences the best while adventuring in the forest.

l have witnessed first-hand the difference that a good breakfast can make. Last year, I introduced the ‘Banana Breakfast Club‘ to encourage others to get as enthused about their most important meal as I am. To no surprise, the results spoke for themselves. It was a great way to socialise before knuckling down to a long day in the forest. The team had chance to properly wake up, chat and nourish both mind and body to fuel them for their busy day ahead. Productivity increased, people had more energy and were in a better frame of mind to deliver the top notch customer service that Go Ape prides itself on. A win win!

Naturally, working for a company called ‘Go Ape’ where at every site there is a resident ‘Gorilla’, and head office is called ‘Banana HQ’, bananas become a staple part of the diet. It’s practically a given, And why not?! They are a great food, the unsung hero of a breakfast plate I think. You can slice ’em, dice ’em, smash ’em, fry ’em, put them in a smoothie, or just peel ’em for the easiest of on the move eats. The list of health benefits of bananas is a long one, but for us at Go Ape, their high energy and ability to stabilise blood sugar during exercise is great for keeping us going whilst swinging through the trees.

Here’s a few snaps of my breakfasts that have helped me get to where I am today. 

(Please excuse me for being one of ‘those’ people who takes photos of their food – I just love it!)

Oat and Chia Porridge

Oat and Chia Porridge, Cinnamon toasted Cashews, Caramelised Bananas and a dusting of raw Cacao

Banana and Date Breakfast Bars

Banana and Date breakfast bars made without fat or sugar

Gluten Free Banana Pancakes

Gluten free banana pancakes with Nutella Yoghurt

Feeling inspired? Got a favourite breakfast of your own? Share it with the Go Ape Tribe!

Feel-good drinks to try this winter

Feel-good Drinks - Top Tips from Go Ape

Has this weather left you feeling, erm, a little under the weather?

If so, then it could mean you’re suffering from SAD – that’s short for seasonal affective disorder if you didn’t know and yes, it’s a real thing.

Not only are many of us trying to battle wintertime blues, but this chilly weather’s got our immune systems working overtime as they try to fend off nasty colds and flus. Not so easy when Jack Frost comes nipping at our fingers and toes every time we head outdoors.

But, fear not. We’ve got a solution – well, a number of solutions in fact, in the form of healthy, natural winter remedies that will cheer you up and give your immune system a boost, too. So, rather than indulging in a hot chocolate the next time you feel blue, treat yourself to one of these healthier feel-good drinks instead – your body will thank you for it:

Lemony goodness

Did you know, one of the best ways to start the day is to drink a cup of warm water with lemon? That little yellow fruit is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants that boost your immune system, flush out bad toxins and energise your body and mind. The recipe’s simple: squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a cup of water (warm is better than boiling) and add honey to taste.

Minty fresh

It’s a great breath freshener, and it’s also been proven to aid digestion and alleviate aches and pains (making it a perfect post-winter’s-walk brew). Grab yourself a handful of mint leaves, roughly chop them and diffuse in a cup of boiling water. Sweeten with a squeeze of lemon or dollop of honey.

Ginger tea

Ginger: you either love it or hate it. If you’re a fan of the spicy root, enjoying it in a cup of hot water has many benefits: it helps settle stomachs, it cleanses our bodies, and it also has antitussive properties, meaning it can soothe a tickly throat. You need just 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root per cup and if you want, you could add ½ a squeezed lemon, some honey, or a cinnamon stick to enhance the flavour.

Spicy coconut tea

If you’ve a penchant for spicy things, try this immune-boosting recipe: in a saucepan, mix together ½ cup of coconut milk with ½ cup water and a teabag, along with a generous pinch of turmeric, ground clove, grated ginger and vanilla (and cayenne pepper, if you really like it hot). Allow the ingredients to simmer for five minutes before serving.

Super smoothie

Feel-good wintertime drinks needn’t always be warm! If you’re suffering from a cold or flu, treat yourself to this super smoothie and you’ll feel better in no time: in a blender, blitz together two seedless oranges, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of grated ginger, 2 teaspoons of honey and 4 ice cubes. For that additional kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Do you have any wintertime drink recipes of your own? If so, we’d love to hear them! Now, let’s go and put that kettle on…