Why running is good for the mind

The Run Talk Run group pictured in Grovelands Park
The Run Talk Run group pictured in Grovelands Park

Marc Bear leads a group of runners in Winchmore Hill focused on improving their mental health

Run Talk Run is a friendly, safe and open space to talk about the good days, bad days and everything in-between.

Part of a global initiative, Run Talk Run (RTR) aims to make both physical activity and mental health support less intimidating and more accessible.

There are so many reasons why running makes it easier to open up. When you run with a community, you are all facing forwards, rather than looking at each other. That often makes it easier to talk about the difficult things on our minds and allows us to speak without feeling judged by those with us.

At Enfield Run Talk Run we set off at 6.15pm every Tuesday evening from The Green in Winchmore Hill. We follow a 5km route around the beautiful lake at Grovelands Park, at a very casual pace. We run/walk depending on how we’re feeling and the conversations we are having. The group is open to anyone and no-one should feel too intimidated to come along.

I created the Enfield arm of Run Talk Run after discovering the Euston group in 2019. Having experienced the benefits of the initiative first-hand in helping to manage and support my own mental health, I wanted to get involved in a group closer to home. I looked around and the closest I could find was in Finsbury Park!

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So, in January 2020, I decided to set up the Enfield Run Talk Run community. Although the group has been a bit stop-start because of the lockdown periods, I do my best to offer a consistent space for our community to use, as and when they need. We have a WhatsApp group too so that we can keep in touch when we can’t run together.

The past year has been so isolating for many people and now, more than ever, our mental health is suffering from the effects of lockdown. Run Talk Run offers a space to talk through worries, and a community to exercise with.

When people have come for their first time, they are often nervous about their own fitness levels, but we will always be a beginner-friendly group. Walking is fine and we never leave anyone behind.

For more information and to get involved:
Instagram @runtalkrun_enfield

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