SEFTON Council is encouraging people to put down the mince pies and start pounding the pavement with the launch of its brand new ‘Couch to 5K’ community programme. The free sessions are perfect training for those looking to prepare for a summer running event and will help attendees slowly build up to running 5K at their own pace. Classes are drop in, drop out but it is recommended that runners take part in as many as possible. Running has many health benefits, including improved heart and lungs; and when combined with a healthy diet can result in weight loss. A more active life style is also known to improve mental health and can act as a great stress reliever. Taking place every Monday and Wednesday, from 6-7pm, at Litherland Sports Park, the classes will run for 10 weeks from January, 9. Couch to 5k is open to anybody aged 16+, children are also welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 0151 934 2340, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit Active Sefton on Facebook or follow @activesefton on Twitter.