Take on a virtual coast to coast cycle for charity

Diabetes UK is asking people across Scotland to get on their bikes and take on the UK Wide Cycle Ride this September.

Challenge yourself...this September by cycling coast to coast, virtually, to help Diabetes UK support 4.7 million people in the UK who are living with the condition.
Challenge yourself...this September by cycling coast to coast, virtually, to help Diabetes UK support 4.7 million people in the UK who are living with the condition.

In the past few months, demand for the charity’s services has reached record levels but its own funding has also been significantly impacted by lockdown.

However, people with diabetes need its help now and it is calling on readers to support the cause so it can continue fighting for them.

This September, you can do just that by taking your own fitness up a gear and completing a coast to coast virtual challenge.

Home effort...you don’t even need to head outside if you don’t want to, as long as you clock up your mileage!

You can pick your distance – 120, 180, 250 or 950 miles – from four routes.

Beginners may want to tackle the 120-mile route – the equivalent of Dundee to Fort William – while experienced cyclists may find the 950-mile route four, the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats, more their speed.

The aim is to challenge yourself, at your own pace, and pedal towards a stronger, healthier you.

You can also invite family, friends or colleagues along for the ride.

Notch up the miles...no matter whether you live in an urban sprawl or a rural idyll, there's a route that's right for you.

There are an estimated 4.7 million people living with diabetes in the UK − a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

If not managed carefully, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes.

Angela Mitchell, national director of Diabetes Scotland, said: “Cycling is a fantastic way to help you get fit and healthy, have fun and set yourself a challenge.

“Whether you’re a novice in the saddle or a cycling fanatic, our team will be on hand to offer cycling tips and fundraising advice.

“Every mile you complete and every pound you raise brings us closer to our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm.

“Sign up and get pedalling – your support can and will change lives!”

To register, visit diabetes.org.uk/ride. There is no registration fee and no minimum sponsorship.

People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About eight per cent of people with diabetes have type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it but it’s nothing to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.

It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.

Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.

It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.

People with type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly – known as insulin resistance.

Around 90 per cent of people living with diabetes have type 2.

They might get it because of their family history, age or ethnic background puts them at increased risk.

They are also more likely to get type 2 diabetes if they are overweight.

It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it.

Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.

About two per cent of people have other types of diabetes.

They include 11 different forms of monogenic diabetes, cystic fibrosis related diabetes and diabetes caused by rare syndromes.

Certain medication such as steroids and antipsychotics, surgery or hormonal imbalances could also lead to other types of diabetes.

If not managed well, all types of diabetes can lead to devastating complications.

It is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

Diabetes is the fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK – more than dementia and cancer combined. And there is currently no known cure.

However, with the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.

Diabetes UK’s aim is creating a world where diabetes can do no harm.

And you can help achieve that by getting on your bike this September.

To sign up or for more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, visit www.diabetes.org.uk.