As the coronavirus pandemic rate of infection begins to slow, the restrictions of lockdown are starting to ease. With that you may have seen the return of small group classes, of up to 5 people, taking place at your local parks and beaches.
This is advantageous in assisting people’s mental health. It combines two suggested ways of helping to improve your mood – getting out in nature and exercising. It also has the added benefits of socialising with other people once more, which many people sorely missed.
Making time for exercise, especially in the open fresh air, is a great way to combine these two aspects and increase your mental wellbeing.
When the world returns to normality, have you considered what your ‘new normal’ will look like? We have been blessed with some amazing weather that has enabled us to venture out of our homes and exercise, as encouraged by the government. We have seen a significant increase in people out walking, running and cycling. Making many question ‘why did we not do this before lockdown?’
Taking advantage of lockdown
James – Head Coach at E-Motion Fitness Hub – believes he has turned over a new leaf. He said, “I have found that I appreciate where we live a lot more and the beautiful scenery we are surrounded by. I’ve done far more running/cycling – and have encouraged our members to take advantage of this opportunity to do so too. Pre-lockdown I was always rushing around with my head down, engrossed by my phone and missing so much…”
It is important to think about what this time has taught us as we ease out of lockdown. We must ensure we take the positives along with us, especially those that have helped with our exercise and thus hopefully better mental health. Think about what would like your new normal to be.”
The reason for our support
James continues, “E-Motion decided that it was important to them to help and support Dorset Mind’s vital work in the community. Mental health issues are rapidly increasing within our society. The Dorset Coroner registered forty-seven suicides in 2018. This was a 37% increase on the previous year and the highest number recorded in local records since they began 16 years prior. These numbers are not declining and in fact have since increased. As these numbers grow, it becomes frighteningly real and hits very close to home.
Mental health has a large presence within the fitness industry. Having been a personal trainer for eight years and now a gym owner, it’s fair to say I’ve experienced this on many occasions! Gyms can sometimes be a very intimidating place for people, particularly those who struggle with poor mental health and self-image. For example, mirrors on every wall aren’t something that everyone wants or needs to be faced with. Weights areas full of men sweating, grunting and swearing aren’t the friendliest environments either. The list of things that could deter you from wanting to exercise goes on. Luckily, at our gym we have created a space in which we believe these negative connotations associated with larger gyms have been eliminated.
The June 500 Challenge
We took part in Dorset Mind’s ‘June 500 Challenge’ to engage with our local community and show that you can have some control around “getting in shape” regardless of your situation. There are people out there who will support your success, whether that is running your first 5km or walking to the shops! It also gave our members and us the perfect opportunity to hold each other accountable to keep positive and keep moving during lockdown.
One thing I’ve personally taken from The June 500 Challenge, is that I can actually run, which I didn’t think I could. Not only did I achieve a fitness goal of running 100km during the challenge, I experienced new places I do not normally get to see. I unglued myself from my phone, distanced myself from normal life pressures and had a chance to focus on and think about my own mental health. Removing myself from a fast-paced life has allowed me to re-evaluate things going forward. I’m going to allow myself to enjoy the simpler (perhaps more important) aspects of my life.
We at E-Motion Fitness Hub are immensely proud to support Dorset Mind and to help raise awareness for mental health with events such as The June 500. We can’t wait for the next challenge!
We have been very impressed with how Dorset Mind has conducted themselves during the campaign. They regularly checked in with the teams to see how they were getting on, re-posted our content on socials and generally have been incredibly supportive. If you are in a position to help Dorset Mind continue to support our amazing community, please get in contact with them or make a donation here.
Our guest Blogger is James, Head Coach at E-Motion Fitness Hub, based in Poole.