Be active, be well.
Owing to advances in technology and communication, we are becoming increasingly inactive and sedentary in our lifestyles. It is easy to spend most of the day sat in front of a computer screen, in lessons, playing games on-line, or watching TV in the evenings. But our body and our mind are connected and a lack of physical activity can have a big impact on how we feel emotionally.
Physical activity makes you feel better emotionally
There is strong scientific evidence to support the fact that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life. Research shows that physical activity reduces stress, increases feelings of relaxation and improves our overall sense of wellbeing. It improves mood and reduces the chances of depression, anxiety and cognitive decline. Physical activity releases endorphins that make us feel good – boosting self-esteem, increasing focus, concentration and motivation and improving our sleep. The Mental Health Foundation has produced a short booklet highlighting the science behind and the benefits of looking after your mental health using exercise.
Research also suggests that there is a strong link between physical exercise and cognitive performance, with evidence suggesting that regular exercise improves memory and learning. So, whilst it may feel like you’re being really productive spending 12 hours straight at your desk, staring at your laptop, or pulling an all-nighter, there is a mass of evidence to suggest that going for a walk and giving your brain a rest every now and then is actually much better for you and will pay dividends in the long run.
What about me? I’m not an elite athelete!
But being active doesn’t mean we all have to be elite athletes! Nor does it mean we have to go to great lengths or expense to increase our levels of daily activity. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days a week is all we need to improve our health. This can even be broken down in to 10- to 15-minute blocks.
If you’re not already involved in a sports club or society, it’s not too late to join; visit our directory for more information.
If a sports club or society is not your bag but you would like to increase your activity levels, think about finding something that fits into your lifestyle and can easily be built into your day. This could be walking briskly to town, or cycling to work, dancing in the kitchen to your favourite songs. Or you might prefer a more structured activity, such as an aerobics class or a gym session a few times a week.
Some other ideas to inspire you:
Take up running – if you’re just starting out, try the NHS Couch to 5K running plan.
Get into shape with NHS Strength and Flex, a five-week exercise plan to increase your strength and flexibility.
Take the 10000 steps a day challenge
Choose a workout from the NHS Fitness Studio’s selection of online videos including aerobics, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga or find a plan you like on YouTube.
There are lots of apps to help with fitness tracking and they can be very motivating
Once you start becoming more physically active, you will start to feel better and this is likely to motivate you to make positive changes in other areas of your life such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and eating healthily.
The sky’s the limit!
Try lots of activities and see if they work for you
There are lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved in sport in Pershore, for fun, to make new friends, or to compete if that’s what you’re after; our directory provides information about what’s on offer locally, including sports clubs and societies.
Pershore Leisure Centre
Based by the town centre car-park, Rivers Leisure offers a state-of-the-art fitness suite, a strength and conditioning room (with wheelchair accessible equipment), sports hall hire for table-tennis, football, badminton, and other sessions, and classes ranging from Bodypump™, yoga, Salsa Fitness, to circuits and studio cycling all with reduced student-rates. There are also a range of membership arrangements available, to help you get the most from your local team.
You’ll find an indoor 25 metre swimming pool, which hosts over 55 hours of public swimming every week, as well H2O workouts, adult only sessions and private clubs.
Swimming is a great way to stay physically active & is a potentially lifesaving skill. You can maintain & develop your fitness with our lane swimming sessions, learn to swim whatever your age with our Swim School Lessons or just enjoy a fun splash hour. Swimming is a full body workout that will burn calories, increase energy levels & decrease stress levels.
Learn to swim as an adult
Nature is good for you!
Whilst getting active in and of itself is important, there are also known benefits associated with getting out into the great outdoors; so why not combine the two?
The theory of ecotherapy (or green therapy) has gained traction within the scientific community in highlighting the positive impact that nature has on our communities generally and particularly on our mental health. Find out from Mind.
To find some nice walks in the local area:
Try the Pershore Bridges Circular Walk
Take a trip to Tiddesley Wood
The OS have an excellent town and country route
Try Komoot for good walks and cycle routes around Pershore,
or Visorando for more
and Walking Britain for even more