As we are flying towards the end of 2018 with January just around the corner, it is a time for reflection and setting goals for the days, months and year ahead. RED January can provide you with a goal and a focus in a characteristically tough month, empowering you to start the year as you mean to go on.
Hannah Beecham, founder of RED January shares her story and the reasons behind starting Run Every Day January.
In the summer of 2015, my mum’s depression took a real turn. Curtains were drawn and my mum didn’t leave her bed for weeks. Feeling helpless, I thought about the positive effects physical activity has on my mind and wondered if it could help her in someway. Never one to do things by halves, I went ahead and signed us up to the Walk the Walk Midnight Marathon. Committing to her first official challenge meant my mum had a goal to work towards. With love and support she tackled each day one day at a time, getting out of the house and allowing herself to feel the benefits of exercise. Crossing the finishing line hand-in-hand with my mum will be one of our fondest memories together.
Inspired by the life-changing effect that a physical challenge has had on my mum’s mental health, RED January is here to help you boost your own mental and physical health. RED centres around a month long challenge to run, walk or swim (whatever you fancy!), each day, every day. There are no rules. The aim is to get active every day and boost your mental and physical health.
I’m not the only one donning the lycra to support themselves physically and mentally. Medical professionals now recommend exercise as a tool to manage mental wellbeing. In fact research suggests that regular exercise can decrease the risk of depression by 30% and with 1 in 4 of us experiencing a mental health problem each year, it’s time to get moving!
Almost every year, just before Christmas, I would start to dread January and February, wondering how I would cope with those dark months when I would feel like I was existing, rather than really living. RED has helped me to change that. I can’t say that I find January easy but RED helps me to plan how I will meet my goals and steadily increase my running.
2019 will be my third year of taking part in RED January. Running has been life changing for me. It is now just over two years since I took up running, training to run the London Marathon for Mind, and over that time my mental health has been more stable than at any other time in my adult life. It has put sport and fitness back at the centre of my life and my self-confidence and sense of self-worth have steadily returned.
Taking part in RED January is essential for me now and I’d encourage anyone who is thinking about it to get involved and give it a go. The great thing is that you can run if you want; but walking, cycling, swimming or any other sort of activity are just as good. Whatever you decide to do, it’s a great way to start the year on a positive note.’’
Pete Riddleston, REDer
Support your mental health this January by doing something active every single day!
Join the movement and sign up for FREE – www.redtogether.co.uk