Happy Mental Health Awareness Week!
This week is so important for our Golden Girls. Daily physical training is fundamental but not enough to complete the epic Race Across America. Mental health plays an equal important role for our mature athletes.
Imagine cycling 3,000 miles in 9 days, crossing 12 states with unfair terrain and real risk of injury. It can be pretty scary, especially for four 65+ ladies, but their strength reside in their union, which make physical effort easier and more fun!
By attempting the RAAM the Serpentine Golden Girls want to challenge the idea that age is a barrier for physical activity.
They want to motivate people of keeping active also in later life. Being active doesn’t have to involve cycling across America; going for a walk or doing some group exercise such as yoga or Zumba can have hugely positive impact on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.
“Getting out on a bike for just a relatively short period of time is a fantastic way to combat the stress of everyday life and enhance your psychological well-being," said Dr Ruth Anderson, Great Britain Cycling Team lead psychologist.
Unfortunately, when people are getting older it is more common they become less aware of their mental conditions. Sometimes doing easy things results impossible and bring people to isolation or depression.
Combating mental health problems is also the challenge which created the idea of Silverfit: charity supported by our Golden Girls. Silverfit organises a wide range of daily activities around London for people who weren’t previously active. They want to bring people together, keeping them healthy, creating friendships and combating loneliness.
“If you want to stay mentally healthy then exercise – running was my survival,” said Edwina Brocklesby.
Last week, our Golden Girl Edwina Brocklesby has been a speaker at Elevate, one of the largest fitness trade shows in the world. She promoted physical activity and socialisation as ways to combat isolation and loneliness for older people.
Loneliness affects 9 million people in the UK from all parts of society, but especially in later life. In relation to previous years, the UK population is ageing rapidly and this also means being more vulnerable to mental health problems. Physical activity such as group exercise and team sports has the power to provide social connections and feelings of togetherness important in reducing isolation and depression.
So for this Mental Health Awareness Week, whatever age, shape or mental health condition you have, put your trainers on and go to do some outdoor exercise. Also, do not forget to help our Golden Girls campaign of inspiring older people to keep an active lifestyle by giving a donation here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/serpentine-golden-girls.