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Be active in a way that suits you and that you enjoy

Image to accompany the 'be active' element of the 5 ways campaign

Article estimated read time 4minutes 30 seconds

Be active in a way that suits you and that you enjoy 

The second of the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ is looking at being active. We know regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Being active is as simple as finding an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

Northamptonshire Sport offers a variety of sporting clubs that are available to be involved with, some that you may not even be aware of in Northamptonshire such as; curling, chair based exercises, sailing, snowboarding, walking football and much more!   

We know sports isn’t for everyone – some people may enjoy running or cycling, whereas others may enjoy walking the dog, dancing or yoga as just a few examples. Whatever it is, the most important thing is that you enjoy it and it works for you.

Being active can be as simple as swapping a car journey to the local shop, to a walk where possible. Or it may be you join your colleagues and take some time out for a lunchtime walk or if you can, walk to walk or cycle.   

We have some great country parks in Northamptonshire so why not visit one of these on a weekend with your family? It may be that you join a family swim club – a great way to enjoy exercise and important family time together.

Robert shares a great example of how being active and taking up running has impacted on his mental wellbeing:

“It all started some months ago – in fact it was at my employers wellbeing conference held in July 2018. I always knew that I was overweight and my physical health wasn’t great, always feeling tired, painful joints and generally avoiding any physical exercise. Despite knowing this and being aware of the overall impact my life choices were having on me and ultimately my family I never acted upon this I just put it to one side and continued doing what I was doing. That was until the 18th July 2018 whilst attending the wellbeing conference two of my colleagues attended a stall being run by First for Wellbeing where they were carrying out health checks. I don’t know what it was but something made me go to the stand and have a health check – which confirmed which I already knew – I was morbidly obese and had very high blood pressure. As a result of this I was advised to seek medical advice from my GP and have by blood pressure monitored at regular intervals. As I was considered morbidly obese I met the criteria to be sponsored to attend a slimming group of my choice for 12 weeks.

“After my first session I went home and studied the information and I was given and started planning my week ahead, what food would I be eating and what types of exercise would I engage in. I soon realised that Slimming World is about making choices in food optimising and enjoying the food I like, whilst making the right choices which I’ll be able to sustain long term. Within my first week I lost 11lb in weight and was absolutely shocked how easy it was to follow a plan and how great I felt. Since joining slimming world 39 weeks ago I’ve continued to lose weight and have lost 7st in total. I am 8lb away from my target weight and am really enjoying the benefits of being a healthy me – I have lots more energy, enjoy trying new foods and generally feeling better all round.

“I haven’t lost the weight through diet alone I have been active in lots of ways, going to the gym, aqua zumba, boot camp, running and doing Park Run.

“In March 2019 – I was awarded my slimming world’s groups greatest Loser 2019 – this was a fantastic achievement and wouldn’t have been achieved without all the support from family, friends, work colleagues and the support from my slimming world group – THANK YOU!

“I have gained so much more confidence in what I am doing and enjoy what I am doing. If someone said to me 6 months ago you are going to take up running – I would have laughed…. But I really enjoy running getting outside and being able to clear my head and reflect on the day I’ve had or plan for the day ahead. I love doing parkrun every Saturday and this isn’t just about the running I have also started to volunteer at my local parkrun giving back to the community and supporting the event to happen.

“This hasn’t just had an impact on me but my family too – we have all benefited from the healthy life style choices I have made – we eat healthily as a family and try new foods, we are more active and every Sunday we travel to Daventry to take part in Junior Parkrun. Read Robert’s full story here.”

So why not make your pledge today and take your first step to improving you mental wellbeing? You can find out more about the campaign by visiting www.mypledge.me.uk. You will also be able to make your very own wellbeing pledge online which you can share on social media using the hashtag below. 

So make your pledge today and join the conversation online, it may be that you have different ways of connecting with those around you? if so, we want to hear them! Get in touch via using #mywellbeingpledge.

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