Could Joining Your Local Parkrun Make You Happier and Improve Your Lifestyle?
Here at The Injury Clinic we’re great believers in the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and are always helping people who want to lead a more active, independent lifestyle, free of pain. However; for some of our clients the thought of stepping foot in a gym or having to join an exercise class can be off putting.
If you can relate and have been looking for a way to keep active and meet others (without the need for a gym membership); it might be time to dig out those trainers and head down to Welland Park!
A new study of 8,000 people found that those who regularly run socially as part of ‘Parkrun’ are generally happier than the rest of the population. They found that running with a community of people can help you live a happier and healthier life.
The research carried out by Glasgow Caledonian University and Strava found that 89% of people completing Parkrun felt that it made them happier, with 80% saying that participating also motivated them to continue to exercise throughout the week.
.. and the good news is you don’t even have to run for miles and miles!
Parkrun is a free 5k run that takes place nationally in local parks across the UK every Saturday. If you’ve ever been walking or driving past Welland Park on a Saturday between 9-10am you’ve more than likely seen the crowd of shorts and tights converging on the park – that is the Harborough Parkrun. They welcome people of all abilities and fitness levels and you can even take your dog!
If you need more convincing that Parkrun may be the kickstart to a healthier lifestyle you are looking for, here are 6 reasons to give it a go this weekend…
1. Running improves your mood
Physical exercise releases loads of feel-good chemicals or ‘endorphins’ in the body. These endorphins help to boost your mood and reduce stress too. Research has also shown that exercising with others can help to further increase the release of endorphins – What better way to set yourself up for the weekend!
2. Running keeps the heart healthy
It is widely understood that aerobic activity is good for the heart, so it’s no surprise that running can keep your heart healthy. Research shows that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and increase lung function. In addition, running can also boost your immune system. Even running just five minutes per day could add years to your life!
3. Running can improve your mind at any age
Worried about “losing it” as you get older? Studies have shown that regular exercise helps reduce age-related mental decline with significant improvements in overall brain functions such as attention, concentration, task changing and organising being noted.
4. Running can strengthen joints
That’s right, running is GOOD for your joints. This works by strengthening the surrounding muscles to take the pressure off the joints themselves. The impact of short running also helps to improve the density of your bones. All this reduces the risk of developing joint issues and helps to slow down the process degenerative disorders just as osteoarthritis.
5. Running can boost self-confidence
Not all of the benefits of running are physical. Running can give you a noticeable boost in confidence and self-esteem. By setting and achieving goals, you can help give yourself a greater sense of achievement – the short 5k distance, strong community and regular recording of times that Parkrun offers makes it the perfect choice for this.
6. Running can help you be more productive
Research shows that those who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than those who are more sedentary. So squeezing in a Parkrun before your weekend begins can help you to get more of those weekend ‘jobs’ done.
So what do you say, see you at Parkrun this weekend?…
For more information on your local Parkrun please visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/marketharborough/
Other local Parkruns include: Corby (9.9m), Kettering (11m), Leicester Victoria (13.1m), Braunstone (14.9m), Rugby (14.9m), Northampton (15.7m), Sixfields Upton (17m), Rutland Water (17.2m), Daventry (17.6m)
If you’ve got aches pain that are stopping you from keeping active (especially running) right now, then get in touch with the clinic to speak to one of the team and find out how we can help you get back on track.