Wellbeing

KEEP ON RUNNING!

We are now starting to re-enter a world of 'normality' which could cause stress after months of restrictions. This article by Employee Benefits Consultant Adrian Firth looks at how you can keep your mental health in top condition.

Adrian Firth
Employee Benefits Consultant
18 June 2021
3 Minutes

Summer is here!

With the summer solstice bringing the warmer weather (in my part of the country anyway) I have immediately noticed that the days are getting longer and the sky is bluer.

For me, running is not just a physical exercise, it also helps to boost my mental health. I am happy to run in almost all types of weather, but I definitely have more of a spring in my step on bright summer days.

Here are some tips to keep your mental wellbeing tip-top while you get out there and train for your personal goals:

Sleep

During lockdown many people have reported that their sleeping patterns have been disrupted.

We all operate best after 7-9 hours’ sleep, do not be fooled into thinking you can make up for lost sleep with a long lie in; try to go to bed and get up at around the same time each day, our bodies and minds work best with regular routines.

You will improve your sleep patterns if you can avoid the “blue-light” produced by smart phones and tablets for about 90 minutes before going to bed.

Take it all in

We all know that getting outside is good for your wellbeing so use your run to appreciate the world around you. Try and pay attention to the sounds and sights around you; birdsong, the wind in the trees, wild-flowers or peoples’ gardens.

And smile at other runners you jog past. Activating the smiling muscles reduces tension and even a forced smile is enough to improve mood slightly.

You will find that most people you smile at tend to reciprocate so everyone wins!

Shake it up

One of the problems I sometimes face is running the same route too often. I can find that I get home and have basically covered half of my route on autopilot! Try and avoid “dropping out” by having a few different routes to use and regularly rotate them. Using different routes will also give you the opportunity to see and hear different things – and as they say, “variety is the spice of life”.

Another option might be to run intervals, vary your pace perhaps sprinting for 30 seconds every now and then or pick an object (streetlight, tree, gatepost) and once you pass it sprint for 30 seconds.

Appreciate your efforts

Most runners use a wearable or app to log their run. I find it useful to look back at my efforts every now and then to see how many times I have run in the past month, as well as the times and distances covered. Take some time to give yourself a pat on the back!

The Mattioli Woods Rothley10k

If reading this article has inspired you to get more active, why not take part in our Rothley10k charity event taking place on 14 September 2021? Improve your fitness and mental health whilst supporting the hospice charity LOROS. You can learn more and book your place here.

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