Editorial 16 July 2020

This week we’re featuring the positive impacts of physical activity towards our mental health as summer invites more of us outdoors and the world still faces many unknowns. Mental health problems are on the rise and while there’s no simple fix for this effect of the pandemic, we do know through countless studies that getting physically active helps our mental resilience. 

The physical limitations of quarantine have made people realise how much we take for granted the opportunity to move around freely outside our homes. And frankly, quarantine has made us restless. This impulse to move our bodies has resulted in more people getting active in recent months. Let’s hope we see this continue, as a lasting positive impact on public health we can attribute to 2020!

Olympic Gold Medalist, Dr. Hannah MacLeod, MBE shares in an exclusive interview insights into how elite athletes look after their own wellbeing; inventive ways people are getting active outdoors and valuable advice for employers looking to support the mental and physical wellbeing of their workforce post Covid-19.

Unbeknownst to many, global athletic brand ASICS has mental health literally written into the fabric of their brand as the company name in Japanese means, ‘a Sound Mind in a Sound Body’. Melinda Brooks-Bray VP of Human Resources for EMEA tells us about how during lockdown, exercise and running became a lifeline for many people to boost their mental wellbeing. 

HRH Prince William is also promoting the benefits of sport for improved mental health. Find out how he’s getting people talking as much about mental health as they do about football!

Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity at the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind talks about all the benefits research shows getting active can have toward our mental health along with progressive work the charity is doing country-wide to get more communities and workplaces active in sport.

Alongside physical activity, another proven way to build our mental resilience is to focus on positive things we have to look forward to. Team Make a Difference has embraced an active goal to start training for next year, joining forces with Charity Challenges. We’ve created the MAD World Trek to Petra Fundraising Challenge in aid of Minds@Work charity, taking place in Jordan in 2021. Read more about the opportunity. We encourage you to join us!

Speaking of getting out into the wild, Andres Roberts from Way of Nature UK shares insights on how spending time being active in the great outdoors can benefit our minds, bodies and spirits along with no-cost, self-care tips you can try out this summer on a lunch break in your garden, a local park or further afield if you’re able to visit a national park.

We hope you find this week’s issue enjoyable and valuable!

Well wishes,
Heather Kelly
Online Editor, Make a Difference News


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