Be active in a way that suits me and that I enjoy
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Being active is as simple as finding an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life
You could try
- Walking to the shops instead of driving
- Joining a friend on a dog walk
- Going for a lunchtime walk or walking to someone’s desk rather than calling
- Yoga exercises before you head out in the morning
- Doing something you have always wanted to but never got around to it – like rollerblading or dancing
- A new sport – maybe one you have never even heard of before
Or check out
- Northamptonshire sport – for a range of sports and activities
- Park Run – run or walk, these events are free and open to everyone
- Couch to 5K – a 9 week programme you can do in your own time, to get you moving
- Country parks – a great place to walk and take part in other activities
Got an idea?
Share it with us on social media using #mywellbeingpledge so we can add it to the list and don’t forget to make your pledge now!
It all started some months ago – in fact it was at my employers wellbeing conference held in July 2018. I always knew that I was overweight and my physical health wasn’t great, always feeling tired, painful joints and generally avoiding any physical exercise. Despite knowing this and being aware of the overall impact my life choices were having on me and ultimately my family I never acted upon this I just put it to one side and continued doing what I was doing. That was until the 18th July 2018 whilst attending the wellbeing conference two of my colleagues attended a stall being run by First for Wellbeing where they were carrying out health checks. I don’t know what it was but something made me go to the stand and have a health check – which confirmed which I already knew – I was morbidly obese and had very high blood pressure. As a result of this I was advised to seek medical advice from my GP and have by blood pressure monitored at regular intervals. As I was considered morbidly obese I met the criteria to be sponsored to attend a slimming group of my choice for 12 weeks.
Within a couple weeks my paperwork to join Slimming World came through the post and within a week I attended my first session at my local slimming world group. To say I was nervous was a complete understatement. I felt so embarrassed for being so overweight and didn’t know what to expect. When I walked through the doors I was greeted with friendly smiles and soon put at ease. Gayle the slimming world consultant explained everything to me – I wasn’t judged by anyone and could see and hear how supportive the group was to each other and shared their own slimming world journeys. As a group we are all really supportive of each other, giving encouragement and sharing ideas whether this is during group or within Facebook chats outside of the group to support each other, and chivvy each other along through the highs and lows.
After my first session I went home and studied the information and I was given and started planning my week ahead, what food would I be eating and what types of exercise would I engage in. I soon realised that Slimming World is about making choices in food optimising and enjoying the food I like, whilst making the right choices which I’ll be able to sustain long term. Within my first week I lost 11lb in weight and was absolutely shocked how easy it was to follow a plan and how great I felt. Since joining slimming world 39 weeks ago I’ve continued to lose weight and have lost 7st in total. I am 8lb away from my target weight and am really enjoying the benefits of being a healthy me – I have lots more energy, enjoy trying new foods and generally feeling better all round.
I haven’t lost the weight through diet alone I have been active in lots of ways, going to the gym, aqua zumba, boot camp, running and doing Park Run.
In March 2019 – I was awarded my slimming world’s groups greatest Loser 2019 – this was a fantastic achievement and wouldn’t have been achieved without all the support from family, friends, work colleagues and the support from my slimming world group – THANK YOU!
I have gained so much more confidence in what I am doing and enjoy what I am doing. If someone said to me 6 months ago you are going to take up running – I would have laughed…. But I really enjoy running getting outside and being able to clear my head and reflect on the day I’ve had or plan for the day ahead. I love doing parkrun every Saturday and this isn’t just about the running I have also started to volunteer at my local parkrun giving back to the community and supporting the event to happen.
This hasn’t just had an impact on me but my family too – we have all benefited from the healthy life style choices I have made – we eat healthily as a family and try new foods, we are more active and every Sunday we travel to Daventry to take part in Junior Parkrun.
I am more confident as a person, enjoying what I am doing and it’s a great feeling when people ask me about my slimming world journey and I can share with them what I have been doing, inspiring them on their own journey to a healthy life style.
I have been attending a hot yoga class twice a week before work in the centre of Northampton. My working day is often very long and so I have had to make a very conscious effort to attend rather than go into work early, and have even turned down early meetings in order to invest some time in myself.
By attending I have gained new skills (having never done yoga before), met new people, am more mindful (mindfulness is taught as part of the discipline of yoga) and have found a new way to be active which is enjoyable and rewarding.
I have found that by taking a little time out of my busy working life to attend yoga, I am more productive at work, more focused on my tasks and I sleep better – good news all round!
Getting into running as part of my weight loss changed my life. Not only is my physical health better, but mentally too – I have discovered a hobby that gives me the “feel-good factor”. When I run, I get the best sense of achievement and the added bonus of feeling exhilarated and fulfilled.
Last year I was struggling to come to terms with my sisters death the year before and was considering anti-depressants. I was going to occasional aqua classes at the gym but cancelling more often than going. Following encouragement from my daughter I spoke to one of the Personal Trainers and have been having weekly sessions since. I now regularly attend other classes, walk on Saturdays with a friend and am taking part in a Wild Warrior event in September. I have not needed medication and have had the added bonus of losing some weight.
I no longer even consider requesting antidepressants from GP and am more able to be positive most of the time.
Late last year, the director of Nursing of my organisation was telling me about a crazy idea that she had and asked me if I would like to join her – before I could process what I was being asked to do I said yes. I had only agreed that in August this year I would trek to Mount Everest Basecamp with her!
Since saying yes I have had many doubts about whether I would be able to complete this challenge however, I have been training hard. Rewind to December/January and I could have been classed as one of the laziest humans alive, the most exercise I would do is walk to my car or to the kitchen at work. Since saying Yes to EBC I am now, walking every lunchtime as well as long walks every Sunday, I do park run every Saturday and I do hockey once or twice a week, and have even started doing boot camp, as well as trying to get a gym session in if my body can take it! Who would of thought someone as lazy as me could turn out to love this new journey, this has been great for my Physical and Mental wellbeing. I have also since joined slimming world. Last Sunday I thought I would challenge myself and decided to try and walk the 26 miles of the Weandle Walk, unfortunately I wasn’t able to complete this due to getting badly blistered feet, however I gave it everything I had and managed to keep going to 17 miles, with not much training at all – considering the most walking I was doing was about 6-7 miles around Pitsford. This journey has been incredible and I won’t stop even after EBC, it one I will continue. Who knows I may find another crazy challenge to do next year?
The next challenge is in July where I am to try and complete the Yorkshire 3 peaks with 2 of my colleagues – which consists of 24.5 miles of walking, 3 peaks in 12 hours – after this will be Everest basecamp! I’m not going to lie I am both excited yet very nervous about this! However, I’m doing it for a very cause good and this is what is keeping me going.
I must add it’s not just about me and my journey, its about the support I have had along the way from my family, friends and work colleagues. Especially my training buddy Julie!
Don’t forget – we are here if you need to talk
For support with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions contact Changing Minds IAPT. Under 18? Visit CAMHS Live
For a range of other mental health support visit Mental Health Northants Collaboration or Northamptonshire Healthcare
Are you finding everyday tasks more difficult? Contact Supporting Independence.