A NEWPORT woman who said she had "never properly exercised" in her life has completed 40 laps of the city in as many days.

Louisa Conte, who left her post as a teacher just before lockdown to take on a new role at the Tredegar Arms pub, said she felt she had to use the lockdown time wisely for her own mental health, and decided to take on the challenge before her 40th birthday, which she celebrated on Thursday, June 11

"I've suffered for years with my mental health and I have never properly exercised in my life other than going to the gym occasionally," she said. "It dawned on me that I had a great chance to get out and do some really beneficial exercise, which has helped me both physically and mentally."

Mrs Conte, who in the process raised £1,750 for the charity HCPT and for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, says she has also enjoyed taking in sights around the city which she felt she hadn't appreciated fully before.


"Every day I set off from Argosy Way, past George Street Bridge, down to the SDR Bridge, by the castle and then back again," she said. "It was around 5.6km in total every day.

"It's brought me closer to the community and given me a really nice feeling. You can't underestimate the power of a nice walk and just saying 'hello' to people.

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"Being off work hasn't been great, because my routine is very important to me in terms of helping me to cope with my mental health challenges, but I have to say this is one of the best things I've done."

On her final lap, Mrs Conte was accompanied by brother Stephen Hart and other members of her family.

The money raised by Mrs Conte will be split 50:50 between HCPT and the haemotology ward at the Royal Gwent Hospital, which helped her father before he passed away in 2012.