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PYB Health

Make 2022 You're Fittest Year with Parkrun

By PYB Health
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

With the recent changes in restrictions, parkrun is now up and ‘running’ again!

At midnight the 14th January 2022, outdoor gathering numbers were increased to 500 with the expectation that limits will be removed entirely by the end of this week. Finally, you can get back to your local parkrun and look to making 2022 your healthiest year yet!

Parkrun has been a part of many communities for a long time. It has helped many people gain confidence, get fitter, and socialise within their community. Many people find comfort in seeing the same faces each week and can even end up meeting neighbours they never would have come across if it wasn’t for the weekly parkruns. Building confidence through these regular interactions can translate positively into all parts of your life.

It’s not only adults that can take park and reap the benefits of running. Parkrun set up Junior parkrun in 2010 and it has had great success since then. Many people recognise that children are imitators and learn from what they see, so its important to give them something great to imitate. The first junior parkrun consisted of 9 children and their parents, now more than 430,000 children around the world have participated.

Your Local Parkrun

The local parkrun in Bridgend happens every Saturday morning at 9am in Welfare Park, Maesteg. This course is 5km long and takes you through the lovely park, starting at the pavilion and tennis courts. Maesteg Parkrun welcomes people of all ages and abilities for a free, timed walk/run/jog/skip. If Welfare Park isn’t local for you there are also weekly parkruns in Gnoll, Aberdare and Porthcawl.

The Benefits of Park Run

When you run or jog, there is no part of your body that will not benefit. By remaining active daily and maintaining a balanced diet you can improve the way your feel as well as achieving a healthier BMI. Here are just some of the benefits for your physical and mental health when you take park in regular activity:

Decreased Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Chemicals and hormones are released when your exercise that can help to make your feel good. Additionally, blood flow is increased to the brain which helps to improve cognitive function.

Sleep

This time of the year can be stressful for many, which can result in lack of sleep. Walking, running and other general activities can reduce stress as we just touched upon, this can thereby improve sleep. By taking part in the parkrun events, you are increasing your time spent in natural light which can also help with sleeping patterns.

Losing Weight

On average a 5km run can burn between 300 and 400 calories (around 100 calories per mile). When trying to lose weight these burned calories are a great help. Your body can learn to become efficient and burn fewer calories if you run regularly so introducing interval training (burst of speed with a small rest period) can cause a higher calorie burn.

Decreases likelihood of Serious Health Conditions

Running the parkrun each week can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, this reduces the risk of a plethora of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes. As well as this, improving our cardiovascular endurance can make it easier for you to carry out daily tasks such as running up the stairs and walking the kids to school.

You don’t need to look hard or for long to find motivational stories of how Parkrun has helped thousands of people transform their lives. If you want to read some of these stories, visit the Parkrun website here where you can also learn more about how you can take part.

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