Could you be a carer? Call 01382 561279
Search

Charity run training provides health benefits

A World Health Day blog by our Marketing & Recruitment Officer, Nicola Donnelly. Nicola is also a parent carer to her 3-year old son.  Nicola writes about how running helps her physical and mental health and is also raising money for a cause close to her heart.

***

The one thing I did not expect to come out of lockdown as was an enthusiastic runner. The best thing my PE teacher could say about me in a school report was “Nicola always brings her PE kit and tries very hard.” Physical exercise has not always come naturally to me, but I have tried over the years to find what I enjoy most.

A wake-up moment for me was spending time with other carers for disabled children when I was at appointments or events with my son. Due to dedicating their time and energy to their children, often their own health was suffering. At that point I saw looking after my health as something that could no longer be pushed to the side. I couldn’t risk not being able to play, do physio, run around, lift safely or being zapped of energy all the time.

I began working with a trainer on using the small pockets of time I had for exercise each week wisely. Then, with lockdown, my sessions were moved online, and the gym was closed so I decided to give running a try. Being able to run pretty much anywhere, at any time appealed to me for fitting around a busy family life.  I knew I would need a goal to keep motivated and so I started looking around for runs that I could sign up to.

One of the charities I follow online, Lucy Air Ambulance for Children were advertising spaces at London Landmarks Half Marathon. That set off a lightbulb moment for me. In 2017 Lucy helped us by transferring my son from London to Dundee by air ambulance and I always enjoy spending time in London (which is why I was there when my son was born 14 weeks early). The charity allocated me a space and my fate was sealed. No backing out now and I am well on my way to raising £2,000. The run has been postponed from May until August.

As my training has continued, I have really come to appreciate making time for running. Especially during lockdown. Getting outside is very important and I might be reluctant at the beginning, but I am always happy at the end. Each run, of any length, is an achievement for me and they never fail to help me organise my thoughts and then clear my mind. I listen to podcasts for company and entertainment and it becomes quality time for me.

The best outcome from my efforts though has been how I feel. I can push my son up hills much more easily. I can lift him in and out of swings and his trike. I can roll around on the floor with him doing physio and I know being physically and mentally fit is both a great example for my boy and an investment in our future.

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive free advice and be kept up to date with our latest news.

By subscribing to our newsletter you are giving consent for us to retain your details in our contact database. If you do not wish us to retain your details please contact us at info@carolina.org.uk to have your details removed.