In this edition:
Jane Fowler - Head of Customer Support Services
Hello and Happy Wiggle It, Waggle It Wellbeing Wednesday! We are well into spring now and have been noticing all the little things outside in the garden – birds building nests, the squirrels feeding, more flowers and leaves emerging and… a hare and baby hare seem to have adopted us! Fortunately they are just eating grass and some lupins at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll be into the cabbages as soon as they are planted out! Look out for future descriptions of my Hare Proof fence!
This week is all about getting active. On your Feet Britain launches next week and there is lots of information and suggestions about activities to get you moving and keep you healthy. Wild swimming is a growing trend, and I have heard of a few hardy people around Argyll and Bute who are committed to outdoor swimming. Being a bit tentative around cold water, I’m not sure that it will be my first choice activity, but we’d love to hear from those of you who have taken it up and some tips on where to go and what to wear! And finally, you may have picked up that gardening is close to my heart, so I can’t wait to get a copy of Kay Owen’s book recommendation about rewilding your garden – wonder if it has any tips on hares…….?
On Your Feet Britain – 27th April
We all know that keeping active is beneficial for maintaining our mental and physical wellbeing. This is of particular significance for all of those working from home at the moment and who may not be taking appropriate breaks or getting up and stretching their legs as much as they should. Well, this month sees the launch of On Your Feet Britain, the national activity awareness day when 2 million desk-based workers across Britain are encouraged to participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to Sit Less and Move More at work.
Did you know – British people sit for an average of 8.9 hours each day?
Recent international research shows that sitting for more than 4 hours each day leads to:
- Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down
- Reduced calorie burning (Metabolic rate)
- Disrupted blood sugar levels
- Increased insulin and blood pressure levels
- Leg muscles switch off
This can lead to increased risk of back pain, heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, depression and many other medical problems.
How long you spend sitting each day? Try making a note of all the time you spend sitting down and you may well be surprised. By making small changes to your lifestyle to increase your activity, at home and at work, you can significantly improve your health and wellbeing.
On Your Feet Britain is a free and fun way to reboot and energise your workplace habits and are promoting the #BigWiggle – to encourage as all to get more active at our desks. It’s FREE to sign up, simply register here
Research shows that regular movement throughout the day leads to:
- Better health
- Increased motivation
- Improved concentration
- And many, many more wellbeing and performance benefits
So consider taking a stand (pun definitely intended!) and try some of these simple changes to be more active at work (Covid restrictions may apply).
- Stand up during phone calls
- Stand up from your computer every 30 minutes and stretch/walk about
- Use the stairs more
- Consider having a standing or walking meeting either virtually or in person, in accordance with the latest Covid guidance
- Consider getting a standing desk or height adjustable desk to allow you sit or stand to use your computer
- Eat your lunch away from your desk – preferably outside!
There are lots of ideas here for On Your Feet Britain activities to you to do on your own, or why not organise, or take part in, a team challenge and let us know how you got on.
Move More and Sit Less – anyway you can.
Another great way to increase your activity is outdoor swimming.
For anyone missing swimming or looking to improve their front crawl, The Outdoor Swimming Society have launched the OSS Couch to 5k training programme to help get you ready for getting back into the water this summer.
Similar to the excellent NHS Couch to 5k running programme, the plan is focussed on helping to you gradually work up to a 50 minute swim rather than distance.
This is a three month programme for front crawl swimming that can be done anywhere: loch, indoor pool or sea and in a wetsuit or skins. The programme suits:
- People with a basic level of front crawl, that they wish to brush off and extend.
- Pool swimmers starting their first season outdoors.
- Returning open water swimmers, who have deconditioned after a long lockdown.
- People wanting to work on their front crawl, through guided drills.
- Anyone who wants to extend their swimming stamina – whether blocked at 1 mile, 30-40 minutes, or the Ironman 3.8k.
The plan also includes complimentary activities that can help support your training while you wait for pools to re-open or for the lochs to get a bit warmer! The OSS site also contains guidance on swimming safely outdoors.
And finally, if the thought of all that exercise has left you feeling in need of some relaxation, here is a lovely way to unwind, with a beautiful book filled with ideas to make your garden more wildlife friendly.
Rewild your garden by Frances Tophill
Book review by Kay Owen
I would not call myself a gardener and my mum is likely to spit out her tea if she knew I’d even read a gardening book, much less write about one. The last year has brought a lot of changes!
Looking after my garden was previously to my mind just ‘outside housework’ as cutting grass is basically vacuuming and weeding is dusting. Then last year I started growing vegetables which led me to think about how my garden could be useful in other ways such as supporting wildlife.
This book sets out a number of easy methods to make your garden more attractive to wildlife and encourage native plants which in many ways involves doing less! The information is practical, easy to follow and interesting. It’s not ‘preachy’ or dry (like I’ve found gardening manuals can be) and is beautifully illustrated. It is helping me to start seeing my garden as somewhere I like to spend time, rather than a chore. I just hope when my mum can finally come and visit she will approve!
Please let us know your thoughts and ideas about the items featured here and send us your suggestions for future topics – we love to hear from you!
The Wellbeing Team: firstname.lastname@example.org