Vhi is asking people to experience the mental and physical health benefits of parkrun for themselves!
With Blue Monday, known as the most depressing day of the year, occurring next week, Vhi is encouraging the Irish public to start the year off on the right foot, by giving parkrun a try in order to experience both the mental and physical benefits participation can bring. Vhi as the presenting partner of parkrun Ireland for the past seven years, is calling on people to visit their local parkrun this weekend. Whether you participate in parkrun as a walker, jogger, runner or a volunteer, research shows that it can have a positive impact on your health.
A previous survey by parkrun in association with Vhi outlined the mental and physical health benefits that can be gained from parkrun participation. Key findings included:
- More than 90% of parkrunners reported a sense of personal achievement and improvements in physical health.
- 83% reported improvements to their mental health
- 85% stated that participation in parkrun improved their levels of happiness.*
Vhi 360 Health Centres have also recently signed up to the ‘parkrun practice’ initiative which was set up by parkrun Ireland in collaboration with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) to encourage GP practices across Ireland to develop close links with their local parkrun, and encourage patients and carers to take part in their local parkrun to help build local communities centred on wellness. Vhi 360 Health Centres in Carrickmines, Swords, Dundrum, Limerick, Cork and Galway plan to become ‘parkrun practices’ in the coming months.
Involvement in this initiative will enable Vhi clinical professionals to credibly promote the mental and physical health benefits of participation and volunteering at these local 5km parkrun events. Encouraging participation in events such as parkrun which can have such positive effects on mental and physical health can sometimes help reduce the need for lifelong medication.**
parkrun in partnership with Vhi, takes place every Saturday morning at 9.30am in more than 100 locations across the country and is free to take part in. In Ireland, more than 10,000 people take part in these events every weekend, as walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers. These events are open to everyone and last year parkwalk was launched as part of the weekly events. Participants only need to register once on the parkrun website, bring their personal barcode which records their activity, and then turn up at their local event.
Dr Suzi Clarke, Consultant Sports & Exercise Medicine Physician at Vhi 360 Health Centre, Carrickmines said, “At Vhi we are committed to helping our customers and patients live longer, stronger, healthier lives. The ethos of Vhi 360 Health Centres is to support the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle to support overall wellbeing. Participation in events like parkrun can help to increase wellness in the local community and we believe that the ‘parkrun practice’ initiative will help people across the country discover parkrun and the health benefits that it can bring.”
Matt Shields, parkrun Ireland Country Manager said: “We all know how hard it is to follow through with New Year’s resolutions, but the beauty of parkrun is the support you get as part of a community. Whether you start off walking, jogging, running or as one of our incredible volunteers, we’re certain that you will reap the mental and physical health benefits that parkrun has already provided to thousands of people across the country.”
Vhi ambassador David Gillick said, “parkrun is an excellent way to get back to physical activity after Christmas, and with Blue Monday just around the corner we could all do with the mental and physical lift that parkrun can bring! Once you have experienced the warm welcome, you’ll receive at your first event you’re sure to want to come back for more, meaning those good intentions made in the New Year have a great chance of lasting beyond January.”
To register for a parkrun near you visit www.parkrun.ie