Penny Brohn UK, a Bristol cancer charity, knows that physical activity, fresh air and nature can play a huge part in keeping our resilience high by improving our mental and physical wellbeing - especially in challenging times.
They are calling for people to get walking to improve wellbeing – for them and for people living with cancer by taking part in their annual sponsored walk – Stomp – with a twist. This year people are asked to Stomp their way as the event goes virtual.
Emma Gilmore, Head of Events and Community said, “Stomp is unable to go ahead as normal this year so we’re bringing you Stomp – your way – a remote event where you select your challenge.
The pandemic is having an impact on all of us. Encouraging people to get walking to improve their wellbeing is an important message. And, by taking part in this sponsored walk participants are looking after their own wellbeing and at the same time helping people with cancer live well too.
The simple act of going for a walk in a green space can do wonders for our wellbeing and it’s great exercise. Regular walking improves mood, sleep quality, reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue and boosts immunity.
This year, you can choose to walk 4 miles in a location of your choice on October 11th. Or, if you want more of a challenge walk 40 miles throughout the month of October.
We chose 40 miles because Penny Brohn UK has been helping people with cancer for 40 years this October.
All the money raised from Stomp will make sure more people affected by cancer get the help they need to look after their mental and physical wellbeing at one of the most devastating time in their lives.
As part of its holistic approach to cancer the charity provides physical activity sessions, advice to build resilience and self-care resources as a programme of cancer support services that can now be found online.
Coronavirus has changed the world as we know it. Yet cancer isn’t stopping. Many more people are seeking help and support and the charity urgently needs to raise money to continue to support them.
Emma continues, “With appointments and treatments postponed and the ongoing threat of the virus, many people with cancer are frightened. Some people feel very lonely and isolated from family and friends as they continue to shield to stay safe. Finding ways for them to sustain themselves, to improve their wellbeing – now and in the future - is essential. By taking part in Stomp you are helping to provide support when it is really needed. Helping someone with cancer to feel less alone and more connected.
Why is walking good for us?
A good walk can do wonders for our wellbeing.
The most common benefits of walking are the physical benefits. The activity can strengthen your bones and muscles and has also been associated in previous studies with lower risk of back pain, breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The findings are from a study of almost 140,000 people participating in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.
Walking reduces stress levels by releasing endorphins into your system. The effects of being outdoors can also help to improve your overall mood.
5 ways that walking can help your emotional wellbeing:
- Reducing stress: If you’re having an especially stressful day, going for a walk outdoors is a great way to calm and clear your mind. When the mind has less to focus on (cars, people, etc.) there is more head space available for reflection and meditation. Studies have shown that being outdoors in general reduces stress, and walking as with any exercise releases stress-reducing endorphins.
- Boosting creativity: A Sanford study found that walking, even on a treadmill indoors, made individuals twice as likely to produce creative responses compared to people who were sitting.
- Increasing energy: A UGA study found that when individuals with sedentary lifestyles engaged in just 20-minutes of low or moderate intensity exercises, such as walking, their energy increased by 20 percent and fatigue levels dropped by 65 percent, when compared to individuals who did not exercise at all.
- Increasing self-esteem: Regular walking can strengthen your heart and bones, reduce anxiety and fatigue, keep your body in shape, increase energy and endorphins, and therefore leave you feeling pretty good about yourself.
- Better sleep: Walking boosts the body’s release of sleep hormones like melatonin. Thirty minutes of walking a day can help prime your brain for better sleep. Whilst other physical activities have their benefits, several experts have concluded that when it comes to more restful sleep, walking is superior to many other forms of physical activity such as basketball or tennis.
About the emotional and psychological impact of cancer
One in three people with cancer will experience a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety before, during or after treatment. A cancer diagnosis, its associated symptoms and treatment can have a significant emotional impact on people and their families, with fear, isolation, loss of self-esteem and loss of independence having an impact.
About Penny Brohn UK (formerly Penny Brohn Cancer Care)
Penny Brohn UK is the leading charity in the UK to take an integrated and whole person approach to cancer support, recognising that people need more than medicine to live well with the disease.
We see each person as a unique individual with their own set of hopes and needs – a whole person made up of mind, body, spirit and emotions. Our approach to cancer helps people feel empowered to reclaim control of our health; to recover what it was that made them feel whole in the first place; and to rediscover the joy of living. To turn a potentially devastating diagnosis into a powerful life-changing experience.
When face to face services were suspended due to the coronavirus we launched a programme of remote services that are available to anyone living with cancer as well as those that care for them. Exploring areas like diet, exercise, emotions, anxiety and managing stress, these group sessions are delivered online using Zoom.
To find out more go to https://www.pennybrohn.org.uk/find-help/online-services/
We also offer a free confidential helpline and information service. Call 0303 3000 118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and, 1:1 consultations with integrative doctors, counsellors, and nutritional, exercise and complementary therapists. All our services aim to work alongside standard medical treatment to achieve the best health and wellbeing by supporting the holistic needs - psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical - of people affected by cancer.
Penny Brohn UK is a registered charity and relies overwhelmingly on public generosity to run its services.
To make a donation to Penny Brohn UK go to www.pennybrohn.org.uk/donate