Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi is a GP, a TV doctor, RCGP Lifestyle and Physical Activity Clinical Champion and a triathlete!
He shares his top five ways walking helps your mental health.
There are about 500 ways in which walking is good for your mental health, so this will be difficult, but here are my top five. These are why each Saturday morning I can be found at one of my local parkruns!
1. Connection with nature and green spaces
The outdoor space is the foundation of our being, however with modern society it is easy to hibernate indoors especially during the colder months. Reconnecting with nature can help bring a sense of calm and is the perfect place to practice mindfulness.
When you are walking try to be as present as you can with the sounds, smells, and sights around you.
2. Sense of community
Social connectedness is a well-known pillar of mental wellbeing and a fundamental human need. Just being around others can be enough but there are also many friendly people who have come along for a good old natter.
3. Boosts your endorphins
These are our innate ‘happy chemicals’ that help reduce pain, inflammation and improve sleep. Physical activity has unrefutably been shown to increase these chemicals, which is why you may hear people talking about the physical activity ‘high’.
4. Boosts our mood and lowers our stress levels
For the last 200,000 years we have lived as hunter gathers. This lifestyle was one of constant movement, being around nature and with other members of our tribe. That is how our body and mind are wired to be safe and content.
parkwalk at parkrun simulates that in the 21st century. Countless studies have demonstrated regular walks, especially in groups, have significant improvements to our mental and physical health.
5. Great start to your weekend: Now known as parkwalk day!
Having a routine like this can help you get the most from your day, especially when you feel demotivated. When you register on the website you get a barcode. This helps you track all the events you have attended.
Seeing these numbers rise and hit various milestones like 10, 25 and 50 provides a motivational boost to keep at it and also gives you the confidence to explore what other lifestyle changes you would like to make.
Be kind to your mind this World Mental Health Day.
There are small things we can all do to help be kind to our mind and these can make a big difference to how we feel.
Search Every Mind Matters for free, NHS approved advice and simple tips to help you look after your mental wellbeing and see whether you can make them part of your daily routine.
We are delighted to welcome Compeed to the parkrun family as the first official blister plaster of parkrun! The new partnership aims to encourage and support the public to embrace active and healthy lifestyles, something Compeed (a Perrigo owned entity) has been facilitating for over 40 years thanks to its market-leading skin healing technology….
Jeannette Liebig was a keen parkrunner, going every Saturday morning until she was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer. It was only in the following weeks and months that she recognised the significance the parkrun community had on her life. Exercise has always been important to me. My husband, Alex, quit smoking years ago and…