‘Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood’.
Oft quoted (but never with a source!) this phrase sums up the ethos of University Mental Health Day which falls next week on Thursday 2nd March. The links between mind and body have been known for generations, but all too often we forget about how important it is to keep active when stress levels rise, and deadlines creep ever closer. It can feel much easier to hunker down with supplies of Red Bull, chocolate and takeaways to get through the piles of work, rather than to waste/spend time going for a run, an exercise class, or even just a walk around the lake. However, the benefits of physical activity for keeping adrenaline and cortisol levels in check definitely makes up for the loss of thirty minutes study-time – and let’s face it, most of us probably spend that much time on social media every day!
If you would like some inspiration on how to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine, or even be convinced about the mind-body links and the way that exercise can also promote mental well-being, keep your eye out for all of the activities that Student Wellbeing, the SportsPark and RUSU are organising over the first week of March. This link is a great first port of call: http://student.reading.ac.uk/essentials/_support-and-wellbeing/worldmentalhealthday.aspx
Over the next week, if you do anything active, why not take a photo and upload it to the University’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages using the hashtag #UoRGetActive – there is a £50 Blackwells voucher for 1st prize, as well as a month’s free membership at the SportsPark and 2 x £20 Unique Fruits vouchers which can be spent at the weekly fruit and vegetable market in ThreeSixty. (T&C apply).
As part of our awareness raising campaign, we are also really thrilled to be able to host “knockout” guest speaker and sporting legend Frank Bruno MBE on Wednesday 1 March. Frank Bruno will be here to talk about his own well-documented struggle with mental illness and how sport has helped him through difficult times.
If you would like to meet Frank in person, get a cheeky Selfie with him, or build up a sweat for a good cause in our charity SuperCircuits, put WEDNESDAY 1st March in your diary. Frank will be leading Super Circuits at the SportsPark from 1-2pm, and then will be heading on over to the Van Emden Lecture theatre in HUMSS from 2-3pm to engage in a lively discussion hosted by two Film & Theatre students, with an opportunity for questions from the floor. Both events do need registering for, so please either visit the SportsPark website: https://www.sport.reading.ac.uk/ or follow the links on the Essentials pages.
“Know what I mean, ‘Arry?”