This week marks the UK’s week to raise awareness of mental health with a theme of kindness. One of the areas where we often fail to be kind is to ourselves and Mental Health Awareness suggest everyone takes 30 minutes each day to get active and this is where Tri & Run can help.
Firstly, we provide a free ‘couch to 5k’ programme – this provides a framework for anyone who is starting running from scratch. Also included in the Tri and Run programme are suggested exercises to complement your journey into running – exercises to support walking and running are often omitted from many ‘couch to 5k’ programmes and yet it is so important to ‘wake up’ and exercise the muscles involved in running as it is to actually go for that run. Plus, these exercises can be done alone and still count as that 30 minutes for yourself.
If you are already able to run 5K, Tri and Run have a free 5-10K sample programme available to download. This plan also includes suggested running activities as well as supporting strength activities to help prevent injury and to encourage you to run as efficiently as possible.
Tri and Run can also help with motivation (see here for a previous blog about motivation) and engaging with the programme. We can share with you advice about how to start and how to keep going that is tailored to you.
Finally, but most importantly ‘why’ is exercise beneficial for mental health? Exercise has a ‘feel good’ effect on us, helping with anxiety and stress. Participating in exercise can also lift our ‘self esteem’, giving us a sense of achievement and belief in ourselves and our ability. All these benefits can improve our resilience in other areas of our lives – so when we are challenged we can draw on our feelings obtained through participation in exercise to overcome the challenge. Engaging in exercise also gives us that ‘kindness to ourselves’ where we are engaged and doing an activity for only us. All these benefits are in addition to the physical benefits on our heart, muscles, bones and our body’s ability to function such as the immune system or handling blood glucose.