At long last we have had some lovely weather and been able to take part in lovely outdoors activities such as May Fairs, Open Gardens and Health Walks. (Apologies to hay fever sufferers!) These are brilliant events for the whole community to get together for a casual chat and great day out. Perhaps, if there is an event in your village, you could arrange to take a neighbour who may feel uneasy to go alone. You may give them the confidence to walk the distance or you may need to drive them to the event. Perhaps you could invite someone to your local group such as knitting, (Love the pompoms again Crewkerne!) WI or men’s shed. Once there, they will already know people or be able to make new friends, which will make both of you feel great and boost your mental health and wellbeing.
On the subject of health, Healthwatch Somerset, the county’s independent health and care champion are looking for volunteers to help make our experience of the health service better.
“Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers listen to what people like about local health & care services, and what could be improved. These views are then shared with the decision-making organisations in the county, so together we can make a real difference.
For more information please contact: 01278 264405 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also give talks about Healthwatch Somerset so if you are a member of a group and would like a talk we would love to hear from you.”
Carer’s Voice is a similar group. They have a range of events in the area over the summer so they can hear from carers to help drive forward issues that face carers. See our website www.somersetcarers.org or theirs www.carersvoicesomerset.co.uk or give me a call if you are not on the internet.
The light nights make it much easier to get out for a walk or bike ride (and stop for refreshment at the local pub!) Just 10 minutes of brisk walking is considered to give health benefits according to the NHS choices website. They say you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, of which brisk walking is one. A brisk walk is about three miles an hour, which is faster than a stroll.
One way to tell if you’re walking briskly is if you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song.
Look to your surgery to see where your local health walks take place, they can be great places to meet up for a chat and often have a range of walks for different abilities so don’t worry that you may be the slowest person there! If you would like to take your walks up a gear, try the “Ramblers” web page which provides information on groups, walking advice and lists of walks.
There are also lots of gentle exercise classes such as seated boccia and over 50’s exercise if you feel you need to start more gently. Just ask the health coach or receptionist in your surgery for more information.