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Spring has sprung! The days are lighter and brighter, and blossom is on the trees, so it’s a good time to get moving. Co-op is a proud partner of parkrun – 5k events that take place every Saturday morning around the world – and founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt gives us his tips for staying healthy, while building a community along the way. 

Remember: while parkrun is currently on hiatus due to Coronavirus, if you can and are able to now is a great opportunity to get outside and start getting active, whether that’s walking, jogging or running – in preparation for when lockdown is over. Just be sure to follow government guidelines to keep yourself and others safe.  

Great for your health 

Exercising is a great way to destress and stay healthy in body and mind, while the social element of parkrun makes it a positive way to boost your mental wellbeing.  

We make sure we encourage people who find it challenging, first-timers are often overwhelmed by the friendliness and support of others. Our event teams are made up of volunteers who want to help their communities; each and every one is compassionate and encouraging, making it easy for people to become part of the parkrun family. It’s a positive and inclusive experience – everyone is welcome and no one finishes last. 

Form a community and use local spaces 

Attending a parkrun or running independently is a great way to make use of your local area such as parks and other open spaces. Many local spaces are under threat so making use of them, and building a community around them, is vital to ensure their future.  

Plus there’s nothing better than some fresh air and spending time getting to know your local community better. parkrun has a really big social element, whether you walk, jog, run or volunteer, you’ll make new friends and catch up with old ones. It’s a true family.  

While in lockdown use social media to help build community around your activity. There are many parkrun groups you can find on Facebook to help connect with others or come and join us on Instagram for live Q&As.

Healthy Swaps 

Running makes you feels amazing – you’re moving your body, enjoying being outside and nourishing your mind with exercise. It’s important to keep those healthy vibes going after your parkrun is over, too. Try incorporating some healthy swaps into your diet, such as topping your breakfast porridge with fruit instead of sugar and snacking on vegetables and nuts. Check out my favourite recipes and tips here.  

Keep moving 

While we’re in lockdown my biggest advice would be to just keep moving. Get out for a solo run, a slow walk or even just a quick stroll around your garden whenever you can. Carve out time once a day and don’t compare yourself to other people – be proud of every bit of exercise you do. Stay strong, stay healthy, stay safe and be the best you can be. 

Find out more about parkrun at parkrun.org.uk. parkruns are currently suspended due to COVID-19 – check the website for updates.  

Paul Sinton-Hewitt 
parkrun Founder 

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Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. again, wishing all well, and feel sympathy especially for dear older People who are cooped up inside and self-isolating, they are Good Souls and they should be having way happier Lives in their Lives to be honest, and also feel for People who are physically too handicapped, frail or for other reasons – maybe caring for a Loved Ones who is physically or mentally handicapped or too ill/frail to go outside and they are staying inside with them – this is a real thing of Love, hope at least they have a little garden! Maybe they could look at beautiful views on television or online and imagine they are running, walking, driving, sailing or flying – I recommend Aerial America, England, other Countries on some Freeview Channels and you can find wonderful things online, including views with music of the Holy Land of Israel, though also other beautiful countries aswell and scenes in Outer Space, hope they can communicate with Friends on Facebook and other Social Media and so on, and for People who are Blind, hoping they have at least one Good Friend they can communicate with, and hear wonderful Music and follow Happenings in the World and if they have a Guide Dog, wish them joy with their Beloved Dog and wishing all Humans and other Animals well, wishing us all Happier Futures, and if you can and have the Time – still trying to find the Time for many Things personally, including doing more Things online, have been busy with jobs in the House and Garden, but at least we have beautiful views out of every single window in the little village of Twydall Green and People walking their Dogs and Pussy Cats wandering around the place, including into our garden – though still socially distancing from them aswell; and resisting the temptation to stroke and cuddle them – and many cute little birds with lovely birdsong, hope to go for a run soon, wishing all of us Happier Futures.

  2. thanks for the helpful comments, and I am aware of these things, as many People are, anyway, it brings me joy to see lovely People and other Animals wandering around, including Local Souls I know and different other Animals going around outside of our House and Garden and in the Green Field behind our Group of Houses, yet am keeping away from them all because of being wise to follow Government Guidelines, have felt very cooped up because of boring housework and other jobs in the House, yet have gone out, usually in the evening or early hours of the morning to try and avoid any others for all our sakes and Health and Future, which to be honest feels lonely, yet I am a Christian and thanks to dear old true Wonderful God know we are not alone, have waved to and shouted with People at a Distance of 2 -3 Metres, though we are all missing being more together, am wishing all of us well in these sad and worrying times, and Honour to all of the Key Workers – all of them, including the most Humble Ones, saw a Police Man and Police Woman in our local Co-op and wished them so well – at a distance of course – and please remember of Good Souls who are doing their best for all of us, hoping and praying that all of the World has a happier Future = People and other Animals; and right now so busy with different things in the House and On-line but hope to enjoy a lovely wander along Nature Places in our Local Area = encourage anyone to do that & wishing us all well

  3. Cycling is also an allowed form of execise, and it is easier to maintain social distancing.

    • used to love cycling, and when I was younger cycled alot, but have not for many years, my youngest Son, Alex, who is very wonderful and very autistic, is living in a village for people with Special Needs which is under Lockdown, following the wise guidelines of the Health Authorities and Government and last was with Alex on Mothering Sunday, anyway, where he is have 14 acres of Gardenland around and on the whole the Special Needs People and Support Workers are Ok, and spoke with one of them yesterday, Alex is happy and has had wanders around the place and playing with another Boy who lives in the same lower flat, in the upper flat are very vulnerable people who need more medical care, am praying for all of them, miss Alex so much, anyway we used to go for long walks and explores with one of my older Sons, Stefan, and nowadays Stefan cycles and goes on his motorbike, maybe I will cycle again when I get a bicycle, helmet, and the time, am running a little sometimes, Alex is 13 – but has complex special needs and I was his full-time carer until May 2018, wonder when I will see him again, I know many people are missing their Loved Ones, am sorry for all of us really


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