In January, humans resembling tomatoes, in Lycra purchased from the sales, sluggishly huff and puff around local parks and green spaces, with determination in their eyes that this year they WILL get fit.
Forget all previous years when running only lasted a week, sportswear used instead as ‘comfy pyjamas’ on cold January evenings and trainers quickly discarded under the bed to gather dust…this WILL be the year that you WILL run a marathon (or at least a 10k).
I mean, how hard can it be?
Despite biting winds like a slap in the face, park runs and community running groups are the place to be for those dedicated to getting fit.
Groups such as; Red Balloons, Stockton, Beginners Running Group in Middlesbrough, Stewart Parkrun, Albert Parkrun, Ladies Who Run, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool Park Run, Run Fit, Hartlepool, Loftus Running Club, Skelton Run England, More Than A Run.
Not only do these groups help improve mental and physical health, but they also bring people together as a community.
In January, the freezing participants of local running groups may not be smiling, but this is because people are often angry this time of year. They’re probably on a soup and smoothie diet or have signed up to do ‘Dry January’.
For many of us, this month is all about punishing yourself for the calories you consumed in December. If you haven’t got the January blues, then you’re not trying hard enough.
Facebook newsfeeds are full of people crumbling after day five of an alcohol-free week, wondering if one glass of wine after a bad day will really matter?
An endless scroll of sad-faced selfies counting down the days until February 1st when they can give themselves permission to get absolutely smashed.
New Year Resolutions give us all the chance to make positive changes for the year ahead.
Many of the changes/resolutions we make, whether we realise it or not, will have a positive impact directly or indirectly on our community and environment, which is why we should try even harder to stick to at least one of them last past January!
Your new year resolution may be; to cut down on the amount of meat you consume, stop smoking, join a litter picking or beach cleaning group, volunteer, support wildlife, recycle more, grow your own vegetables, buy second-hand, spend more time with family, join a class, get fit, get creative…whatever the change, ambition or goal; it’s a New Year, a fresh start.
Resolutions matter, because making one is the first step towards making a positive change which can cause a ripple effect and make positive changes in the wider community.
If you decide to take up running, then you will improve your health and by using our local green spaces, you are also helping protect and support them. The more people who join a community class, group or activity in the New Year, the more support networks are created.
The more community groups that link and connect with other groups, the stronger the support network will become. The stronger the support network, the more chance that people who are isolated from their community will find a way to become part of it.
The more we all help these organisations and groups to grow, the more we will see our communities and local environment improve.
If you would like to link to find out more about local community group, charities or organisations and link up with community-minded individuals join Community Good News Teesside on Facebook.