Our iTravel Inspiration winner for May, Alice, tells us about her experience of BetterPoints York.
I have never had a fitness tracker but I do have a smartphone and I liked the idea of finding out how much I actually travel (I mainly bike, scoot or walk). BetterPoints York appealed because it didn't require money to get going, it's easy and by taking part I could improve my physical ability and support York's active travel culture.
I enjoy the themed medals because nobody really gives you rewards for the little things as a grown-up: it's nice to feel like someone cares if you bother to bike instead of drive somewhere! I like the week-by-week chart showing how much activity I've done - I'm often surprised to see how it all adds up.
I definitely feel more embarrassed if I hop in the car for a short journey! I want to do better for myself, and encourage my family to see active travel as a regular and normal choice.
I started a new job near Harrogate recently. In the past I would have driven both ways. However, I have been working on my strength and stamina so I bought a cheap vintage folding bike. I ride 2.1 miles to the station, take the train, then bike 2.3 miles to my office. I do at least an hour of active travel daily - and ride 9 miles in the same amount of time as it would take me to drive through rush hour traffic!
I am lucky - I bike over the Hob Moor nature reserve and along a bridleway section of the Nidderdale Greenway. I get to see nature, take in fresh air and birdsong - it's SO much less stressful than long traffic queues!
In 2019 I was 24st and had a lot of mobility limitations and pain in my back, feet and knees. Walking half a mile was hard and took three days of recovery. I am now unlimited and can do more, more often, than ever before. I started to get my body moving and have incrementally improved so I now intentionally, and enjoyably, move, get active and exercise when I can. I have normalised physical activity for me and my family - scooting, walking, biking and exploring the great outdoors.
Following a gastric bypass in late 2019, I have lost 130lbs, decreased my body fat by two thirds and increased by muscle mass from 17% to 56% of my weight. I have never felt better, more energised, or more capable. I see BetterPoints as a great help on my continuing journey over the last year.
You can follow Alice on Instagram @stronger_bythe_day
Every month we award £25 to a BetterPoints York participant who shares their experience with us through the iTravel Inspiration survey - just tap ▶️ in the app and answer a few short questions to enter!
Not yet taking part in BetterPoints York? Find out more and download the free app at york.betterpoints.app