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Be active to boost your happiness and wellbeing: Bedfordshire is full of local opportunities

16 October 2015

“Be Active” is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing which can help people to boost their feelings of mental wellbeing. The campaign is currently running in Bedfordshire and is all about practical things we can do in our everyday lives to boost levels of happiness.

Dr Judy Baxter, a GP and Clinical Director for Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “As well as physical benefits such as helping to maintain a healthy weight, heart and blood pressure, it is really important to be active to support good mental health and happiness.

Exercise can help to boost mood and has been used successfully to lower rates of depression and anxiety for many people. Being active also develops the motor skills of children and can help older people to remain more mentally alert.

We can’t all run marathons or be Olympic cyclists: gentle exercise, like walking is just as helpful and there are local activities for people who have physical disability.”

Mental Health charity MIND runs yoga groups in Bedford and participants consistently say they feel less anxious and more satisfied with their life after their yoga sessions.

Leigh Chapman, Service Manager at MIND in Bedford said: “Yoga has been so well received by our service users who enjoying the regular activity. I see lots of smiling faces and social interaction before and after the group session. The feedback has been great and doing physical activity as a group has been very beneficial for people.”

Yoga at MIND is open to the whole community and welcomes new users. Information is available from 01234 343969 or bwc@mind-blmk.org.uk

Other local opportunities include:

No Limits sports club in Bedford has exercise sessions specially adapted for people with physical disability or additional needs. Sessions include football, badminton, basketball and pilates for anyone over 16. For more information contact hayley.elphee@bedford.gov.uk tel: 01234 718839 or visit www.bedford.gov.uk/sport/bedfordsportsdevelopment

Bedford Borough Council has gentle exercise classes at central library and the athletics stadium for anyone aged over 70. Just turn up – there is no need to book. To find out more contact mandy.atkins@bedford.gov.uk tel 01234 718835 or visit www.bedford.gov.uk/sport

Central Bedfordshire wants to encourage as many 50+ adults as possible to lead a healthier active life.Their Fit 4 Life booklet has information on activities and is available from www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call the Community Activity Team on 0300 300 8305.

For daily suggestions in October about Be Active and the Five Ways to Wellbeing, follow NHS Bedfordshire CCG@BCCG5 on Twitter. Find out more on BCCG’s website https://www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk/page/?id=4284

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