New research by Air New Zealand with YouGov has revealed more than a quarter (29%) of the adult UK population have been inspired to do more exercise and increase their fitness following the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with walking taking gold as the most popular exercise of choice for those who are doing more exercise than this time last year.
Excitement around the Olympics has had a significant effect on the younger generation too with more than a third (36%) of the ‘new walkers’ (UK adults aged 18-24) saying they are doing more exercise than this time last year. Living a stone’s throw away from the biggest sporting stadium in the country, it may come as no surprise that roughly a third (28%) of respondents from London are doing more exercise.
Olympic energy is changing the way we spend our leisure time too as over 6 million UK adults agree that the London 2012 Olympics has made them more likely to consider going on an activity holiday.
However, the new walking craze in London isn’t all down to the after-glow of Team GB’s gold medal glory. A separate survey among Londoners revealed that of those who are considering, or already walk to work, more than half (53%) admitted they did/would do so simply because it was free.
To keep up this momentum of walking fever, Air New Zealand has launched a global search to find Britain’s greatest walker to tackle New Zealand’s nine famous Great Walks in just nine weeks. To win a place on this wild adventure, entrants upload either a short YouTube video or a Pinterest board of inspiring images.
Air New Zealand’s search for The Great Walker is being run in association with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) and will see four global winners take on New Zealand’s premier DOC tracks; Abel Tasman Coast, Heaphy, Kepler, Lake Waikaremoana, Milford, Rakiura, Routeburn, Tongariro and Whanganui Journey.
The four Great Walkers will fly Air New Zealand to the southern most point of the country to and then make their way north conquering one track each week for nine weeks. Ambassadors will also enjoy other Kiwi outdoor experiences including local wildlife encounters and adventure activities such as mountain biking, canyoning and jet boating.
The group will be joined along the way by Air New Zealand and DOC staff and celebrity guests. Each winner will share their journey with the world via regular blog updates.
Entries for the Great Walker are now open at www.greatwalkernz.com until Monday 22 October, 2012.
Entrants will then be shortlisted on the website and four winners chosen as judged by an official judging panel and by the public through the website.
The Great Walkers will then travel to New Zealand in February 2013 to complete the epic Kiwi adventure of a lifetime.
For further competition details and to apply, visit www.greatwalkernz.com.
For information on DOC’s nine Great Walks, visit www.greatwalks.co.nz.