Finding time for running

“I don’t find the time, I make the time”

Running Mayor for Blackburn with Darwen, Andrew Gardner has some words of wisdom for you about how to make room for running to boost your wellbeing. Food for thought as over indulgence is common during the winter holidays and new year resolutions are around the corner.

Andrew explains:

“One of the most common things people say to me when running comes up in conversation is ‘I don’t know how you find the time?’ to which I always reply ‘I don’t find the time, I make the time’.

“Running started out purely as physical fitness for me, I was 32, I’d finished playing football at amateur level after my first child arrived and wanted to stay fit and healthy so I took it up, I was okay at it then quite a few years later I joined a running club.

“Running then changed for me.

“I was performing a stressful role in the corporate world with lots of travel so to keep me out of the hotel bar after work I used to run in the various cities I visited. It allowed me to explore new places and in London I used to take my Oyster card so if I got lost I could always get the tube back to my hotel.

“Fast forward a year or two to 2019, the company I work for restructured and I was made redundant. Then my daughter was poorly, throw Covid in the mix, plus I decided to set up my own business so my stress levels were through the roof.

“My mental strength (and health) was tested and pushed to the limits. It was then that I realised that running (and exercise) is as important for our mental health as it is physical, possibly even more so, it is actually a form of self care for me now.

“Yes, it keeps me physically fit but if I don’t run for a couple of days I start to miss those endorphins that make the stress of daily life slide away for an hour or so. Come rain or shine I’ll grab the trainers and get outside and do it, and when I get home I always feel invigorated and ready to face the world again.

“The second thing people say to me is ‘I can’t run, I haven’t ran since school’

“Well, we’re blessed to have what has to be the best Couch-2-5k scheme in the country here in Blackburn, run by some wonderfully supportive people. Not only will you make friends for life who will join you on your journey but after just 9 short weeks you will be able to run 5k (or 3.1 miles). They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit (it’s actually been proven to be 66 days) but either way you will be on your way to a healthy body and equally as importantly, a healthy mind.

“If you genuinely don’t think you have the time I’ll ask you to do one thing…

“Check the average daily screen time on your phone, I’m guessing it’s somewhere between 2 – 4 hours a day. Could you pull yourself away from the black mirror for 30 mins three times a week to invest in your physical and mental health? I’m sure you could.

“As the saying goes ‘if you don’t make time for exercise, you will have to make time for illness’

“Make it your 2022 New Years resolution, I promise you won’t regret it!”

For more ideas about how to be more active in our borough visit BwD re:fresh

And if running really isn’t for you try our walking app to help you find new routes in your area.



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