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Fitness movement sweeps Cumbria

Posted Wednesday, 21 December 2016, 1.56pm

The five Cumbrian branches of mental health charity, Mind, have joined forces to raise awareness of mental health in Cumbria through a fitness challenge.

R.E.D (Run Every Day) January is a fitness movement sweeping the nation, encouraging people to use physical activity to promote mental wellbeing. Participants are pledging from 5 minutes a day to 5 or 10k and beyond for 31 consecutive days. Keen to make the challenge as accessible as possible, R.E.D organisers are encouraging alternative activities to suit different fitness levels such as walking, cycling or swimming. By taking part in the challenge, R.E.D January invite you to kick-start 2017 in the most positive way possible, helping to make a difference to people’s lives, including your own.

The key message from Mind is that physical and mental health are so closely linked that exercise is not just great for our bodies, it’s beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing too. Physical exertion can reduce anxiety, feelings of stress and the risk of depression. Exercising creates clearer thinking, a greater sense of calm and increases your self-esteem. In fact, if you have a diagnosis of mild to moderate depression, your GP might suggest you do some exercise to lift your mood because it can be a more effective treatment than taking antidepressants.

GLL, the UK’s largest charitable social enterprise provider of physical activity, health and learning have partnered with the local branches of Mind, the mental health charity, in Cumbria on the initiative, encouraging their staff and customers to take part. Lynn Almond, GLL’s Health Lead for Cumbria said:

“GLL exist to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities that we operate in and staff in our Better leisure centres across Cumbria are really looking forward to taking part in R.E.D. January – it’s such a fun and accessible way for our staff and customers to get fit and raise lots of money for Mind in Cumbria.”
R.E.D January founder, Hannah Beecham, said: “It's been fantastic to see the support for R.E.D January from local Minds. The campaign across Cumbria has really taken off; I’m excited to see how the momentum grows as the countdown to the challenge continues through December.”

Caroline Robinson, Community Engagement Officer for Carlisle Eden Mind said ‘The support growing behind R.E.D January, both nationally and here in Cumbria, is staggering. We’re delighted to be taking part this year and have people of all ages signed up from throughout the region already. The winter months are incredibly difficult for a lot of people with mental health problems so it’s really important to raise awareness for them at this time while actively promoting mental and physical wellbeing. All money raised in Carlisle and Eden through R.E.D January will go towards our Suicide Prevention project, enabling us to raise awareness and train more people in Cumbria to be alert to the signs of suicide.” 

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