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A Mindful Approach to the Start of the Year

by alex, added 8 months ago
Miles Zerny

I hate running.. with a passion. Although I go to the gym, do some spin classes, swim a bit and have always loved team sports, I can’t stand running. But I know and love its benefits. So, my beautiful wife and I decided to sign up for REDJanuary this year!

 WHY, WHY, WHY?

RED January is a national movement set up to encourage people to get active every day in January, to beat those ‘blues’ away. Their charity partner Mind has benefited greatly from 1000’s of people taking part and millions of donations made by others supporting their friends and families taking part. So that is the ‘WHY’. Driving home in the rain, the wind, the occasional sub-zero temperatures realising I had to go out that evening and do at least a 5k run, I did start to question our decision to do this. 5k in sleet at 9.30pm one evening was a particular ‘highlight’ for us both. But with research from Leeds Metropolitan Universityshowing that people who exercised in work hours feeling like they could better deal with the pressures and demands of their job, had a more tolerant attitude and less likely to have bouts of afternoon fatigue – there are obvious benefits of exercise for personal and professional reasons.

RED January is gaining in popularity year on year and is a great concept and a worthy cause for a number of reasons. As mentioned, Mind (a mental health charity) has greatly benefited through awareness being raised and conversations started about important issues, but the main benefits are the participants themselves. The positivity that flows from Twitter, Instagram and others is amazing. ‘Non-runners’ getting up and not necessarily running every day, but instead being active every day is incredible. Thousands of participants shared their inspiring experiences on Social Media about how it helped with their stress, anxiety, depression or just general wellbeing. Wellbeing in the workplace is rightly so becoming an ever more important consideration for employers and there is an increasing amount of research out there highlighting the benefits to both employers and employees.

We both felt great at the end of January, had lost a bit of weight, felt positive (first time ever in January I think) and felt fitter and stronger. So much so, that we decided to make a commitment to February too – not running, but #LEDFeb, ‘Lift every day’. So every day in February we did a weights session in the gym or at home.

With the next quarter for MET Marketing focused on Wellbeing within the workplace and Leeds Wellbeing Week on the horizon, RED January & #LEDFEB have laid a great foundation for upcoming activities. We’ll be starting with a team 5km ParkRun in Leeds on 30/03/2019 – wish us luck!

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