Millions feel the mental and physical benefits of regular exercise

More evidence has been published highlighting the benefits of running and jogging not just for physical health but also for mental wellbeing too. The Forum for Life-Based Learning advocates daily physical activity for all children and a curriculum that enables them to learn healthy habits for life.

The Macmillan Cancer Support charity sponsors the London Marathon, and today is when applicants learn whether they have been successful in the ballot for places in the 2021 event. The charity has published research into people’s physical activity since the first lockdown was introduced in March 2020.

According to the Guardian, the charity’s research indicates that:

  • around 7 million people in Britain have taken part in running or jogging during the Covid pandemic to boost their mental health
  • around one third said running made them feel calmer and more positive
  • one in five said that running made them feel mentally stronger

We highlighted in January a Sport England survey on young people and physical activity during lockdown, which shows “a strong link between children who are physically active and individual development, good mental health, and rates of volunteering and wider community development. It also suggests that young people who engage in sport and physical activity are less likely to feel lonely.”

The Forum for Life-Based Learning believes that we need to reform the school curriculum for young children to meet urgent life challenges. The Body is one of nine learning themes through which we believe the individual subjects of the UK National Curriculum should be taught, in order to equip children with the knowledge, skills and values to tackle the challenges they will meet as adults.

The Body learning theme focuses on children learning healthy habits for life. It includes a whole-school activity programme, building on the success of the Daily Mile initiative, the website for which claims that more than 3 million children now take part. It also combines learning about the body with learning how to look after the body. Body care for life is the key message.

Image at the head of this article by Allan Mehik from Pixabay.

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