Think Active has offered Arty-Folks a fantastic opportunity to try something different and add a new feather to our cap. They have granted us £2,000 to buy exercise mats and pay for a few online or in-person sessions with a Fitness Trainer or Gym Instructor to help our members get active.
Many of our members are struggling with poor physical health which is having a huge impact on their mental health. Mental and Physical Health should not be seen as separate because it is a well known fact that one affects the other. Many physical activities release Serotonin, a hormone that is key to stabilize our mood, helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion, and that produces feelings of well-being and happiness. Serotonin enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other and impacts on our entire body.
Laura and Liz testing our new exercise mats.
Our members are yet to try these mats out but we think everyone will be able to stretch out,
relax, and then enjoy some gentle exercise that will make them feel good about themselves
and their body.
Exercising is therefore key if you are struggling with mental ill health! We are now exploring with our members how we can support them online or in-person to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle and help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19.
Physical activities we have trialled so far:
- weekly Walk&Talk group of max.6 people. We walked from the Memorial Park through Canley Ford to Warwick University. One of the beautiful circular walks you will find is described here
- Yoga taster session with Peter Hunter
- Tai-Chi with The Flame
- Outdoor Art combined with mindfulness techniques for the whole family
To find out what floats your boat you just have to try out a lot of different activities. Over the next coming weeks we will be working with our members to design a course which we might call ‘Start the Week Well’, and will be delivered through a mix of online and in-person small group activity. It could be a short course at the start that could lead to establishing a new weekly peer support group, or even pairing our members up into workout buddies. At this stage anything is possible!
But one thing is certain: The course will definitely not be about losing the infamous ‘Covid Kilo’, even though you might lose weight. It will be more about tuning into your body, about feeling relaxed, nourished and balanced. It’s not about losing belly fat but about feeling good in your own skin, about having the confidence to enjoy being in your own body and experience what life offers you to the full.
If you are seeking to connect body and mind to improve mental and physical health then this course will definitely be for you. We will combine creative processes with exercising, and we will offer you a little nudge, guidance and support to make those little changes that will produce the magic of a positive Mind-Body relationship we all so crave.
You can see Lorella enjoying some relaxation after hoovering.
Think Active works in partnership with community groups in Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire who are seeking to provide sport & physical activity to their members. Through Sport England, from the National Lottery, Think Active offered Arty-Folks ‘Tackling Inequalities Funding’ to reach people with mental ill health and those who are nervous or anxious to return to or start activity within their community as a result of Covid-19.