This year February 21st – better known as ‘Ash Wednesday’ – will mark the beginning of Lent and for many of us, the first day to refrain from indulging in life’s most delightful sins.

seven sins resizeThe traditional meaning of Lent, which marks the start of perhaps the most holiest period in the Christian calendar, has become mixed up among all manner of funny traditions, such as giving up chocolate, biting our nails, smoking and any other unhealthy habits we should really resist.

But, like those failed New Year resolutions, our promises tend to fall by the wayside well before the forty days and nights are up!

The Sports Council for Wales believes we don’t have to punish ourselves for grazing by the vending machine in order to reap the benefits of self-reflection and renewal.

It’s asking adults to play their part in the ancient Lenten custom of purification simply by doing 30 minutes of healthy exercise five times a week. It’s all part of Health Challenge Wales – The Welsh Assembly Government’s national focus to improve health and well-being of people throughout Wales.

Make your Lenten workout the ultimate cleansing experience! Regular physical exercise halves the risk of developing coronary heart disease, reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes, with great rewards for your happiness and general well-being.


Let’s face it: we’re apt to eat ourselves to exhaustion from time to time. Take Shrove Tuesday for example - it was traditionally a day for using up ‘forbidden foods’ but now it’s better known as ‘Pancake Day’ when we tend to re-load our frying pans!

REMEDY: Get active as an alternative to fasting. Rather than tying yourself down to difficult and impractical traditions like cutting out chocolate, coffee, alcohol or any other of your vices, adopt an alternative to approach to test your self-discipline by getting fitter.

Exercise releases chemical endorphins - responsible for the feel-good factor – which will give you the same buzz as eating a bar of chocolate, and in most cases, physical activity has been proven to help improve diet and after exercise, so you won’t feel so guilty when gluttony does reveal itself.