With the sad prospect of no tennis or golf - my go to fixes for exercise, fun and catching up with friends several days a week - I decided to take my own advice from the Children of Colombia Blog and set up a lockdown fundraising challenge from home with Give As You Live. My target is to spend 10 hours a week taking some form of exercise outdoors - walking, gardening or the occasional jog if I feel very enthusiastic - and raise money for Children of Colombia along the way.
This should get me out of the house and away from the computer screen to see other people (at a distance, but at least I'll know they're still out there and doing the same as I am!), enjoy the stunning autumn countryside on my doorstep and help my mental and physical wellbeing in this difficult time.
At this time of year, when it's frosty in the morning and dark by 4 with the prospect of winter ahead it's easy to feel down. With Covid-19 and lockdown increasing anxiety and isolation, even more important to try to maintain our mental and physical health. Exercise raises levels of endorphins - and seratonin and other feel good neurochemicals - which can lower symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress:
“While meditation, laughing, or eating chocolate do raise endorphin levels, they don’t raise them as much as exercising intensely for an hour or more.” —J. Kip Matthews, PhD
Though I'll probably try the chocolate too, just for good measure!
So - while I'm helping myself, I can also do a small something to help Children of Colombia. The children and young people the charity helps are much more vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic than most of us and need extra care, love and support during this difficult time. I will give £5 a week when I achieve my 10 hour goal - and £5 for every hour below my target. A win win for Children of Colombia and hopefully for me too! It won't raise a fortune, but a little goes a long way in Colombia and every little helps. Let's get started while the sun's shining!
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