The Health on Wheels project aims to establish a programme of cycling on prescription across the former Avon area. It is funded by the Department of Health and various charitable trusts.
Life Cycle UK is a Bristol-based charity and, before a re-branding earlier this year, was known as Cycle West.
The Take Two of These campaign is offering free cycling lessons with a personal trainer. Up to six one-to-one cycle training sessions are on offer.
Life Cycle UK's Paul Wheatcroft said:
People whose health is likely to benefit from being more active can get £120-worth of training completely free of charge. We work with people of all ages and all abilities, teaching them how to cycle safely, skilfully and confidently. People with specific health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, and respiratory illness have already benefited from the scheme. Others who are attracted to cycling simply as a way of losing weight or improving their overall fitness are also signing up."
Life Cycle UK argues that all exercise is good, but cycling is "extra good".
Wheatcroft explains: Cycling is a wonderfully healthy activity that benefits a wide range of conditions. It stimulates the cardiovascular system, strengthens muscles and improves lung capacity. Regular cycling can also help prevent ill-health. It can protect against stroke, colon cancer and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Cycling can be incorporated easily into a persons daily routine so its exercise that doesnt feel like exercise
Patients seeking the free training offer need to get a referral from their GP, practice nurse or other healthcare professional.
Tel: 0117 929 0440