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Use nice weather to motivate you

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Here's the fortnightly Fenland District Council Get Active column, this time by physical activity co-ordinator Heidi Lemmon...

Have you noticed a little extra ‘Spring’ in your step recently? The days are getting lighter for longer and there has been some lovely sunny spring weather recently, which can be a real motivator.

Regular activity is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of several diseases and health conditions such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Why not get on your bike this Spring?
Why not get on your bike this Spring?

But it can also benefit our mental health by boosting our mood and our self-

esteem as well as reducing the risk of depression, stress, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

Fenland has some great open spaces, parks, public footpaths, and cycle routes, which link the natural world with physical activity by

enjoying a walk, wheel or even a cycle.

It doesn’t matter how far, how fast, or how long it takes, simply enjoying the surroundings and doing some activity can be beneficial for our mental wellbeing.

For physical activity,

anything that raises our heart rate, makes us feel warmer and makes us breathe a little faster can help towards those physical benefits.

The recommended guidelines for activity is 150 minutes a week for adults, 60 minutes a day for children.

There are several free resources that can be used to help us achieve this:

Active 10, NHS app

Track how much we walk and how much of our walking is ‘brisk’ walking. As brisk walking can count towards the recommended physical activity minutes as described above, just 10 minutes a day can be a great start.

Couch to 5km, NHS app

Designed for beginners looking to get into jogging or running. It supports beginners to achieve a 5km run in about nine weeks. It starts with walking and builds up gradually. You can even select a few different celebrities to talk you through it as you walk/run to keep motivated. Find both of these apps at www.nhs.uk/better-health/get-active

National Cycling Network

A UK-wide network of cycling routes for walking, wheeling or, of course,

cycling. There are two main national cycling routes that pass-through Fenland. Routes and information can be found on the Sustrans website: www.sustrans.org.uk/national-cycle-network

Park Runs

Free, weekly events in local parks. There are adult (5km) and junior (2km, aged four to 14) park runs. They are positive, welcoming, and inclusive events where there is no time limit and no, you don’t have to run, walking is welcome too. There are several Park Runs in Fenland, including March, Whittlesey and Wisbech. More information, to register, or for how to volunteer at the park runs can be found on the website: www.parkrun.org.uk

Ramblers Wellbeing Walks

A new national scheme of volunteer-led group walks in local communities that are welcoming to all and accessible. Active Fenland, as part of this national scheme, would like to set up local wellbeing walks in local areas of Fenland.

If you would be interested in being a Volunteer Walk Leader and leading some regular local walks in your area or would like more information on what being a volunteer entails, then please get in touch by emailing: activefenlandbookings@fenland.gov.uk

Of course, when undertaking any new activity please seek a health professionals’ advice if you have any concerns or medical conditions.

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