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Looking after your mental health and wellbeing through physical exercise

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing through physical exercise

07 December 2020
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WBC Walk to School_017.jpg

Wokingham Borough Council is reaching out to its residents to raise awareness about the positive effect that being active and having a healthy, balanced diet can have on how we feel.


Many of us are struggling more than usual as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact on our everyday lives and what we do to our bodies makes a big difference to how we feel.  


Small changes in our day-to-day lives can make all the difference. Taking a brisk walk at lunchtime or leaving the car at home and walking or cycling to get to where we are going are great ways to help both our physical fitness and mental wellbeing. 


“Regular physical activity, even for a few minutes, can improve your mental well-being. It releases endorphins which help us to sleep and feel better and improves our physical fitness,” said Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services.


The school run is one example that can help children too. Whether they walk, cycle or scoot, small changes to a child’s daily routine, such as a more active choice in traveling to school can have a positive effect on their mental wellbeing and academic performance. The council are also encouraging those who may live too far away from their school to consider parking a little further away and walking the remainder of the journey.  


These changes will not only have great health benefits due to the physical exercise but will improve the air quality at schools all around the borough.


Cllr Ullakarin Clark, executive member for children’s services said, “Children thrive when they are being listened to and feel they are being heard.  The school run offers parents and children the opportunity to spend time together while undertaking physical activity, both of which can boost their mood and assist with their mental development.


“Walking, cycling or scooting to school can also benefit a child in the classroom as they arrive more alert and ready to learn. Studies have shown that just five minutes of physical activity can have a positive effect on a child’s concentration and ability to stay focused on the task at hand, so even parking a little further away from school and walking from the car to the school gate can have a positive impact.”


Keeping active is just one thing we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing every day.


To find out more about walking and cycling routes around the borough visit our My Journey website  where you can also find out about all the cycling initiative they have in place for residents.


Mental health support

If you need help to better manage mental illness such as anxiety and depression, you can contact the Wokingham Borough Council’s Recovery College or the NHS Talking Therapies service. The Wokingham Borough Community Response’s One Front Door service also provides support on 0300 330 1189 or visit citizensadvicewokingham.org.uk.


Mental Health support is available for the children of Wokingham Borough too. Kooth offer free online counselling and emotional well-being support for our younger residents and Arc Wokingham also provide a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space for children aged 11 and over to explore their thoughts and feelings. 


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