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Get fit for Olympic year urges South West daily

A newspaper is encouraging people to get into the Olympic spirit by getting fit, slimming down and stopping smoking.

The Plymouth based Herald’s 12-month loveLIFE campaign hopes to help get people fitter, healthier and happier.

The paper is asking everyone to “donate” to the campaign however many miles they move, steps they dance, pounds they lose or cigarettes they quit.

The overall aim is to accumulate a million quit cigarettes, a million miles through running and walking, a million dance steps and 100,000LBS in weight lost.

Editor Bill Martin said: “This is the most exciting campaign The Herald has ever launched. We want to show just how inspirational and positive this city is.

“Like many cities, we do face some serious health issues, but there is an incredible amount of work going on already to tackle this through fitness and exercise.

“I know there are thousands of people in Plymouth already leading active lifestyles, and loving it. We want them to tell us what they’re doing and sign up to the campaign so we can celebrate their efforts.

“But we also want those who aren’t so active to join the loveLIFE campaign, and discover how easy and fun it can be to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

He added that the opening of a new £46m leisure centre meant the next 12 months were going to be very exciting for Plymouth and would provide a real opportunity to make a difference to the city’s overall health.

Since the campaign launch in October the paper has attracted £110k in sponsorship revenue and the paper covered a number of stories about people taking part.

These include autistic man Steven Dodd, a canoeist who will contribute miles to the scheme as part of his training for the Special Olympics in 2013, and a couple who quit smoking after 50 years following a health scare.

Plymouth diver Tom Daley, former world champion, European champion and reigning commonwealth champion has backed the campaign.

Said Tom: “I think now is a great time to get involved in the loveLIFE campaign and get fitter and healthier. It’s a new year and a new you so find a sport you really enjoy doing and make it your own. By being active and having a good time you’ll feel fitter and healthier for it.”

The Herald has also set up a dedicated website for the campaign at