Biking to get better, Peter hopes to inspire others to get moving.

Photo unavailable
Nicole McKeating-Jones
Added to All, That Counts on 17 Mar 2020

A Bolton dad who cycles 3,000 miles a year, despite suffering from a stroke and partially losing his sight, is hoping to inspire others to get moving.

Without warning, Peter Ward, 45, suffered a stroke age 42. Unbeknown to him, his sedentary lifestyle – no exercise and spending long periods in the car for work - had put him at a higher risk of ill health.

However, despite feeling at his lowest ebb and thinking that activity wasn’t for ‘people like him’, a glimpse of his son’s mountain bike in the garage gave him the inspiration to go for a bike ride – and he hasn’t stopped pedalling!

Peter from Halliwell, who has seen a marked increase in his confidence, wellbeing, fitness and most importantly, a reduction in his cholesterol since taking up the hobby, said: “I hope that my story will encourage other people to get up and get moving. Having a stroke not only knocks your health, it knocks your confidence too.

“I’d see people exercising and think ‘that’s not for me’ as I don’t look like the fit young things you see in adverts. Even if I encourage one person who isn’t feeling up to it to give it a go, I’ve succeeded. But I hope I inspire many more than that!

The dad-of-three added: “My top tip for getting more movement into your day is to start small and not to beat yourself up about it. When you’ve got a long-term health condition you’ve got to listen to your body. If it’s not your day today, that’s ok, you can try again tomorrow

Peter Bolton 2

“At first, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it at all. I started out by cycling to the shops, then to the park and then it went on from there. I love cycling, but you don’t have to do that – do whatever suits you, whenever! 30 minutes, 30 lampposts, 30 steps more, 30 tries – it all counts.”

Peter’s film to encourage us all to move more is called Biking to get better.’

Adults should be moving for around 30 minutes every day, and children should do around an hour. This in itself brings loads of benefits, like feeling happier, more confident, and sleeping well, as well as helping towards long-term health.

Almost three quarters (73.2 %) of Bolton residents are already discovering the benefits of moving more, but it is hoped that Peter’s story can encourage even more people to follow suit.