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  • lynn

"Just because it helps me feel happy" Challenge

Hi all 👋🏼


Over the last month, the Green Spaces for Wellbeing (GS4WB) Project team has been seeking the input of community members about expanding our activities to help people achieve the NHS recommendation that people aged 16-64 aim to:

  • do strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) at least 2 days a week

  • do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week

  • spread exercise evenly over 4 to 5 days a week, or every day

  • reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity

Not sure about everyone else. But, from my personal experience, since the COVID lockdown, although I have often set myself the "aim" of once again reaching this level of exercise and reducing sitting/slouching time, it's not been sustained.


As regularly engaging in activities such as bending/stretching, cycling, swimming, walking, and hiking; along with the other well-being activities of learning, connecting with others, giving back and mindfulness -, are hardwired to my brain's endorphin-releasing pleasure points, perhaps it's understandable that as the lockdowns' suspended my normal activity levels, my own physical health and emotional well-being has suffered.


Who knows?


What I do know is that until I started regularly exercising and generally connecting again with others and with nature, through the GS4WB activities, I had built a wall of automatic responses that were all based on my not having enough of what I needed (time/energy/money/ knees/confidence/ motivation/daylight hours) to do the things that I know make me feel happier, which although ridiculous when written out, is nonetheless true.

So, I pledge that for no other reason than because I know it will make me feel happier, I WILL:

  • do strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) at least 2 days a week

  • do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week

  • spread exercise evenly over 4 to 5 days a week, or every day

  • reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity

Examples of my aerobic exercise may include:

Cycling, walking, hiking, gardening, volleyball, tennis, and dancing.


Examples of my muscle-strengthening activities may include:

Carrying heavy shopping bags, yoga, pilates, tai chi, boxing, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use my own body weight (such as push-ups and sit-ups), gardening (such as digging and shovelling) and carrying children.


What could you do to make yourself feel happier, healthier and more connected with others and nature?


Let me know,

Lynn


For more information about the Green Spaces for Wellbeing Project and its activities contact:

lynn@bamementalhealth.org



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