I am trying to lead by example. I work in a University, as a manager of a Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Team. Evidence suggests (and I’ll come onto what evidence later), that good physical health, aids good mental health; I am telling students this all the time, yet rarely do I take on board my own advice. So, now that I am a middle-aged guy, I’ve decided to try to improve my physical health and maintain my mental health. The way I am doing this, is by increasing my physical activity, to get fitter. As part of the launch to get fitter, I have set myself a goal of doing a variation of the Coast2Coast cycle ride in the summer of 2019 (again, more of this later). I have already started to increase my physical activity by riding my bike further and harder, (but that didn’t take much doing, as I was starting from a low baseline)!
As an incentive to myself, I will be tracking various health-based measures (e.g. blood pressure, weight, mood, sleep, etc.). An additional incentive is to raise money for the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust. The Cameron Grant Memorial Trust is a charity set up by Evan and Carol Grant in memory of their son, who took his own life in 2014 at the age of just 21. Evan and Carol are now raising awareness of young suicide, and urging those who are suffering in silence to speak up. Please do look at the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust website to find out more about the work they do.
Beyond the C2C, I hope to include other health and physical activities to improve my overall wellbeing. This may include trying new sports, hobbies, improving my diet and lifestyle etc. I will always plan to use evidence based approaches where possible, but not exclusively so.