The rapid advances in technology have brought a revolution in communication and entertainment.

Most people now have access to a myriad of digital television and radio stations, while laptops, tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles mean everyone has a window on the world and can be kept informed and entertained without ever having to leave the comfort of their armchair.

For all the benefits, however, this proliferation of hand-held technological aids has the potential of creating a rather sedentary way of life and might be one reason why levels of obesity are rising in the North West.

Thankfully there are still plenty of people who are willing to go outside and explore the physical world in all its glory.

This week's Gazette features 12-year-old Jamie Cassidy, of Dalton, who has climbed many Lakeland fells and who is now to tackle Scafell Pike to raise cash for the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs - despite suffering severe pain in his feet because of an extra bone that had not fused.

Ninety-year-old Adeline Franken from Silverdale celebrated her milestone birthday by abseiling down Lindale Slabs - having previously marked her 87th birthday with a 14,000 feet skydive.

Three adventure-seeking Kendal friends are due to set off next week on a 10,000-mile pan-continental road trip from the south of England, across Europe to Asia as part of the Mongol Rally. The trio aim to raise £10,000 by completing the challenge, with most of the money going to the Multiple Sclerosis Society and £500 to environmental charity Cool Earth.

Meanwhile a new event which could end up as the world's toughest triathlon is being launched next year in the Lake District and will see competitors swimming in Windermere, cycling the 112-mile Fred Whitton Challenge and running 26 miles, including scaling Scafell Pike.

It is heartening to know that there are still plenty of local people who, often with a public-spirited element of fund-raising to help those less fortunate than themselves, are willing to challenge themselves to experience life to the full.