Online running community launches new campaign to get you moving for better mental health whilst raising money for charity, just in time for Mental Health Awareness Week (10th-16th May).
Running Improves Mental Health
Online running community Start Running Stay Running, are highlighting the benefits of moving for better mental health during Mental Health Awareness week 10-16 May, launching their new virtual run challenges, to get everyone moving for medals to better both their mental and physical health… whilst raising much-needed money for charity.
Since the start of the Covid Pandemic, mental health has been affected across the board. In fact, it was recently reported that 41% felt that their mental health had worsened during the pandemic* Indeed, mental health problems are rising, according to The Mental Health Foundation, major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.
Linda Meek, co-Founder of Start Running Stay Running has struggled with her own mental health having suffered with anxiety and depression when she was 19 – she was put on Prozac and continued to navigate a rollercoaster of mental illness for most of her adult life. At the age of 40, Linda sadly lost her mum to ovarian cancer and she found running an outlet to work through her grief.
With so much anxiety and poor mental health around having to work at home or reconnecting with colleagues as the world begins to return to some form of normality, Linda and her business, Start Running Stay Running, are excited to work with individuals, businesses and running clubs to encourage them to move more, earn beautiful medals and raise money for charity – another area that has been hard hit over the past year.
Linda said: “For me, running was life-changing physically and mentally. After suffering from anxiety and depression, I found great solace in running when my mum passed away, I would do a lot of thinking and soul searching on those runs, going through a rollercoaster of emotions. Just to be away from everyone, just me and the road, helped me to deal with my loss”.
“I’ve had an on-off relationship with running, mainly because of my haphazard approach to it and getting often getting injured. Since doing strength work and realising that not every run is a race, I’m now able to continue to run without injury. This is a big part of what our coaches teach in our membership. The running community is a supportive and motivating place to be and is very much what Start Running Stay Running is all about – it’s celebrating that everyone is a runner.
“We have chosen to use this campaign to not only raise awareness but to also improve people’s physical and mental health, give them something to strive for and also raise money for a wonderful charity that is very close to my heart following the loss of my mum – Cancer Research. For individuals signing up to Seasoned Runner, £3 of every season sign up will be donated to Cancer Research. For businesses and clubs signing up, they can choose a charity of their choice to make a donation towards.
Move for Medals
Linda and her co-Founder Simon Evans and their coaching team, are on a mission to motivate people to move to better both their physical and mental health. With the motivation to ‘move for medals’ they have developed a concept to help make regular movement part of the daily/weekly routine with ‘Seasoned Runner Virtual Run Challenges’ – the term ‘Seasoned’ is used because the challenge is set across each season of the year to give you 90 days to develop the habit of increasing your movement.
It has been such a difficult year with so many feeling isolated, not only from their friends and family but also their work colleagues. As we start to work towards a sense of normality and returning to the office, it can be a nerve-wracking time. We feel disconnected from the people we work with and many have had poorer physical activity over the past 12 months. In fact, a recent report said that 25% of over 55-year-olds had not exercised since the start of the pandemic.*
If you are a business or club looking to take on a running/walking challenge and raise money for your chosen charity, please drop Linda an email at [email protected] for more information.