As the colder months and darker nights are now upon us, it may feel easier to stay indoors, wrapped in a blanket watching the TV. However, it is very important for our bodies and for our mental health to stay active and social, whether that be indoors or outdoors.
Physical activity helps us sleep as well as helping to reduce anxiety, this is because when exercising the body produces hormones called endorphins which make us feel happier.
Health benefits of exercising:
- Reduces the risk of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and many types of cancer
- Strengthens bones and muscles
- Lowers blood pressure
- Burns calories to help you maintain/lose weight.
- Increase energy levels
- It can help keep your brain healthy and improve memory.
- Better sleep quality
- Improve overall wellbeing through meeting new people, making friends and increasing social skills.
It may also feel more difficult in the colder months to go out and meet with friends and family. However, again this is very important for us to do as it makes us feel less lonely or isolated and improves mental health and wellbeing.
Benefits of social activities:
- Feeling less alone and isolated.
- Talking through issues with someone you trust can help you see things more clearly.
- Studies have shown that socialising can help reduce the risk of dementia, and even help you live longer.
There are many different groups and organisations in County Durham that offer opportunities to meet new people, socialise and make friends. There are also many physical activities for all abilities available.
Move, County Durham
Move, by Durham County Council, has a range of groups on offer for exercising, socialising or both through the colder months and you can download the timetable below or visit their website to find specific activities close to you.
Homegroup also have a range of activities in County Durham which include both creative and physical activities to keep your mind active and enables you to stay social.
Find their timetable for Easington, Derwentside and Sedgefield below. You can find the contact details in the timetable.
County Durham Resilience Team
Finally, the County Durham Resilience Team are offering Winter Wellness groups which include festive crafts and enable you to stay busy this winter. These will be held in Ferryhill, Newton Aycliffe, Shildon and Fishburn. The contact details are on the posters.
This winter, think about how you could look after your health & wellbeing - there are plenty of activities across the county that will help you tackle isolation or the winter blues.