Your local parkrun
Every Saturday morning at 9am on Highbury Fields, hundreds of people come together to take part in their local parkrun. Across the country this free initiative encourages people to get active and involved in their local community. Participants can walk, jog or run around the 5km course and even volunteer to help run the event.
Increasingly GPs across the country have been prescribing parkrun to their patients to encourage a more active lifestyle. A few weeks ago, GPs and health and care staff from Islington came together on Highbury Fields to encourage their patients and the wider public to take this simple step to improving both their physical and mental wellbeing.
Dr Josephine Sauvage, a GP at City Road Medical Centre and Chair of NHS Islington Clinical Commissioning Group was one of the GPs who took part. She said: “Being more active has so many proven benefits on an individual’s health, both physically and mentally. There is no pressure to be a fast runner at these events as it’s not a race. In fact, I walked the 5km course with colleagues and felt great afterwards!”
With a family connection to parkrun, Dr Sauvage is already recommending the initiative to her patients, friends and family.
“I first found out about parkrun a few months ago when my son as part of his GCSE Design and Technology class built a motion-activated speaker box, calling out motivational comments to participants as they passed by, it was fantastic!” she said.
“Everyone is welcome at their local parkrun whatever age or ability and it’s an excellent way to make new friends,” Dr Sauvage added.
Lizzy Muggeridge, Event Director for the Highbury Fields parkrun said: “Parkrun is a wonderful initiative, where the emphasis is very much on taking part rather than competitiveness. At Highbury Fields we’ve grown over the last 7½ years and have a wide range of people completing the course each week.
“Each week we have volunteer tail walkers so you will never be last (unless you volunteer to be the tail walker!), and if you’d rather not run, you can still volunteer – all the roles are easy and give you a chance to get involved and meet new people and be part of our friendly community.”
Find out more and get involved at www.parkrun.org.uk/highburyfields/