If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of an accident, whether it be in a car, at work, a trip or a slip or any type of accident, the road to full recovery can be a long one. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to put your daily life on hold so you can take the time to recover properly. Carrying on with everyday tasks, as everyone must do, may mean that even a relatively minor injury will take time to get over.
At Leech & Co, we will always ensure that our clients, if they have been involved in an accident and suffered injuries, receive the rehabilitation and treatment recommended by the medical expert. This is to help you to recover from your injuries and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
However, even when you have finished your rehabilitation and treatment and, in the medical expert’s opinion, you have recovered from your injuries, sometimes you can carry on feeling that you are physically and psychologically not quite back to how you were before the accident. You can feel that the weeks and months spent recovering from your injuries has caused your fitness and activity levels to fall and this can have a knock-on effect on your physical confidence and feelings of self-esteem. In some cases, you can feel isolated from your family and friends and cut off from the life you had before the accident in terms of your hobbies, activities and social life.
Clearly, you can make a full recovery and put the accident behind you over time, but a good way to speed up this process is to get out there and start a new activity. If this sounds like you and you would like to find a new activity to boost your fitness levels, confidence, self-esteem (and maybe find a new aspect to your social life), and all for free, I can highly recommend joining your local Parkrun.
Parkrun is a free event that is held every Saturday morning at over 1400 locations around the world – there are over 600 in the UK alone and so there will be one close to you. The runs are held in pleasant and safe parkland surroundings, on paths or tracks, and they are open to everyone whatever your age, size, shape or fitness level. There are people in their 80s and 90s who take part, people do it with their kids, some even pushing prams, and some are taken round by their dogs.
It is an inclusive, positive and fun atmosphere and you get a feeling that you are part of a bigger thing – you are one of thousands of people doing the same thing at the same time. You will also be doing yourself a lot of good in terms of your recovery and physical and psychological health and wellbeing.
You can sign up to take part and get a personal barcode so your time is recorded. You will receive an e-mail a few hours after the run with your time so you can track your progress week by week. However, you don’t even need to do this – you can simply turn up and do it, you just won’t have your time recorded.
There are Junior Parkruns for the kids on Sunday mornings and all events, for adults and kids, are run by volunteers who will clap and encourage you all the way round.
Now for the “bad” news – the courses are all 5 kilometers long. That sounds like a long way, especially if you haven’t covered that distance before and/or are recovering from an injury, but it’s an achievable distance for anyone. Maybe not the first time, but it definitely can be done. You don’t have to run the course either, you can run and walk your way round or even just walk the whole way.
You really can do the whole thing at your own pace and in your own way and you cannot be last – one of the organisers will walk at the back and make sure nobody is left behind. There is no time limit at all, it’s not competitive if you don’t want it to be and it’s a run or walk and not a race. Whether you run or walk or do both and do both slowly, you will not be on your own and you will feel a part of the whole positive experience.
It is a good idea, especially if you’re recovering from an injury, to check with your GP that he/she is happy with you trying to do a Parkrun. However, I’m sure that GPs would agree it’s definitely a good and positive experience and one that will benefit your health and wellbeing in all sorts of ways.
If you think that a Parkrun is a step too far at this stage of your recovery, there are ways to increase your fitness levels to a point where you might be confident enough to have a go. The NHS promote a scheme called “Couch to 5k” and it’s designed to build your fitness and activity levels slowly and always within your capabilities. Have a look at the website to see if this will suit you – Couch to 5K: week by week – NHS https://www.nhs.uk
There are also local running groups for all levels of fitness and activity so that you are not doing all of this on your own and without support. My wife is a member of a ladies running group that is free to join and has members nationwide. It’s called “Solemothers” and here is the link to their website – https://www.solemother.co.uk
I have now done nearly 50 Parkruns over the last year and a half and I can’t recommend Parkrun highly enough. You are up and about on a Saturday morning, outside in the fresh air in lovely surroundings surrounded by encouraging, friendly, positive people and taking part in a true community experience that benefits you both physically and psychologically … and it’s free! What’s not to like? Oh, and it’s definitely true that if you’ve got up early and done a Parkrun, you’ve earned a coffee and a cake afterwards – there’s always a café nearby!
Parkrun won’t be for everyone, but it’s definitely well worth a look. Give it a try, even if it’s just once. There are steps you can take towards doing a Parkrun, for example the Couch to 5k, Solemothers etc so you shouldn’t be put off. You never know, as well as helping you recover from an injury, it could lead to all sorts of good and positive things for you, your life and your family.
If you’re tempted and want to give it a go, have a look at the website – www.parkrun.org.uk – find your local Parkrun, turn up on Saturday morning and just do it! Good luck!