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Couch to 5K surpasses 7m downloads

NHS Couch to 5K, the groundbreaking free fitness app from BBC Sport and the Department of Health and Social Care, has surpassed seven million downloads.

Launched in 2016, the app offers a progressive nine-week, three-times a week running programme.

It is designed to guide beginners through a gradual transition to becoming confident runners.

Graduates can now unlock access to Beyond Couch to 5K, a new feature to help make running habitual.

The new feature will also help runners improve further on speed, stamina and technique.

Each Couch to 5K session is led by a choice of eight familiar voices, including Olympic heptathlon champion Dame Denise Lewis and 1500m world champion Steve Cram.

Regular running has been shown to reduce the risk of long-term illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, as well as helping to maintain a healthier weight and improve mood and wellbeing.

Couch to 5K participants have told BBC Sport how completing the programme has been a “game-changer” and “changed me for the better”.

A recent YouGovexternal-link poll found that 10% of adults in Great Britain have either cancelled or are considering cancelling a gym or other sports or exercise membership due to the rising cost of living.

BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore said surpassing seven million downloads “marks an incredible achievement”, adding: “It’s truly inspiring to witness the real-life impact this app, developed in collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Care, is having on the health and wellbeing of people across the UK.”

Public health minister Andrea Leadsom said: “Keeping fit and healthy is one of the most important preventative measures we can take to protect ourselves from illness and disease, such as heart disease and diabetes. Couch to 5k is a brilliant and free tool to help us, and it’s fantastic to see that seven million people clearly agree.”

Download the app now on Appleexternal-link or Androidexternal-link devices.