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Social is the motivation key at parkrun – Utilising our public outdoor spaces

February 18, 2019 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

Given that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, parkrun is grabbing hold of the last of the summer months to help ensure more Australians maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

parkrun Australia has teamed up with public health education campaign, Live Lighter, and is inviting all Australians to get along to their local parkrun as part of living a healthier and happier life in 2019.

parkrun is a free 5km event that takes place every Saturday morning in around 350 parks and open spaces around the country and is open to people of all ages and abilities.

The events are socially focused and you can take part however you choose: walk, jog, run or volunteer.

With research1 from LiveLighter showing that only 1 in 5 Aussies are meeting the physical activity guidelines, the collaboration between the organisations aims to promote health and wellbeing across the nation and combat Australia’s growing obesity epidemic.

The Live Lighter campaign encourages people to be aware of their health through exploring potential consequences of unhealthy lifestyles, developing skills to make positive changes and by supporting the dialogue and community response to changing the food and activity environment.

According to parkrun Australia and NZ Health and Wellbeing Lead, Glen Turner, parkrun and Live Lighter are a great fit thanks to their aligned values and goals, which represents a win-win for both organisations and their respective communities.

“Like parkrun, Live Lighter has a strong connection with community and align with our focus on empowering people to make healthier lifestyle choices,” Mr. Turner said.

“Despite our strong existing connection with the parkrun community, we recognise we are not experts in all areas of health and wellbeing. Joining forces with Live Lighter creates an opportunity for parkrunners to access broader and more comprehensive advice on health and wellbeing.”

Live Lighter Campaign Manager, Alice Bastable, says the statistics show many people are still finding reasons not to exercise but a community response is a big step in the right direction.

“We approached parkrun to collaborate for a number of reasons, particularly their strong community cohesion and in response to what our research tells us about Australians’ exercise habits, which parkrun directly addresses,” Ms Bastable said “only 17% of people we surveyed held gym memberships and the reasons for cancelling overwhelmingly showed up as cost and lack of motivation.

She said almost half agreed that socialising is a key motivation for exercise, with many having parks less than 5 minutes from home.

“Our research shows that while more than half of Aussies prefer to exercise outdoors, we’re still not making the most of the beautiful parks on our doorsteps.”

“parkrun ticks so many boxes – it’s free, it’s outdoors and it’s social. We’re excited to guide our network towards the parkrun community, in addition to the extensive health, nutrition and lifestyle advice we can provide as part of our Live Lighter campaign,” Ms. Bastable said.

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