26 September 2018
Today is National Fitness Day. Instead of writing about why you should get fit we’re showing different ways that some of our staff at Disability Rights UK keep ourselves physically active. And we’ve got the pictures to prove it too! We start with Sarah Johnson who is the Programme Officer for Get Out Get Active.
I have always been a fairly active person but after sustaining an injury playing football and then having two children it became far more challenging to find both the time and an activity that interested me. My love is playing football but I didn’t think that I was ever going to be able to play again given the injury to my knee, my time constraints and now having tipped the balance of having my 40th birthday. Fortunately for me there is now a growing movement of women all of a certain age and fitness level 😊 that don’t necessarily feel comfortable at fitness classes, Women’s Veterans or recreational football is fabulous: it’s all about the social element it gets you out of the house; everyone involved is supportive of one another we each have constraints whether that is health conditions or family commitments but everyone appreciates the time that you can put in, we have great fun and we even play a little bit of football. I’m Sarah and this is how I keep myself active.
Leo Capella- Communications Officer Get Yourself Active
I do physical activity mainly through walking Anber my sweet, cute, yet at times “independently minded” Turkish street dog around a certain town somewhere in Essex or outside of it. This gets me out of the house at least once every day and gives me some fresh air. Yet for all the fun or at times tug of war of walkies is working on Get Yourself Active has taught me that any extra physical activity I can do is good activity. So this why I use an outdoor gym nearby where I reside when I’m in London. And not just the chest press I also use the hand cycle which helps build my arm strength. And jump from platform to platform which was difficult to begin with but is now a lot easier.
Ben Kersey- Operations Officer Disability Rights UK
To stay active I play softball in the London Charity Softball League. We play weekly throughout the summer in parks across London. Our team, the Cantelopes, managed to win our group this year but was eliminated in the first round of knockouts ☹
This year I have taken up running and will be slowly crawling around the Royal Parks Half Marathon course in October.
Kirsty Mulvey- Engagement and Research Officer, Get Yourself Active
A huge part of the Get Yourself Active project is to promote the benefits of physical activity and sport. As the Engagement and Research Officer for Get Yourself Active, I practice what I preach.
I am a member of a Taekwondo club where I have been training since 2013. During this time I have earned my first and second degree black belts and won lots of medals through competing in sparring, patterns, special technique and board breaking. Yet, these achievements are not the thing that keeps me going back every week.
Taekwondo, like many other activities and sports, has many physical benefits such as losing weight, building or maintaining muscle mass, improving balance and improving strength. Being active can also build your confidence and help you to become more independent. It can improve your mental health, as well as give you a chance to see your friends, meet new people, become part of a team and part of the community.
When we go to competitions then we all support each other and we are there as a team. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, and long as you try your hardest, don’t give up and learn from it – no matter what. I love seeing the friends I’ve made work hard every week and be a little bit better than they were the week before.
It’s not all hard work though. We’re very social and go out for drinks or meals together after competitions and at Christmas time, or attend each other’s birthday celebrations. We come from all different backgrounds, are all different ages and continually learn from one another.
Taekwondo keeps me disciplined and motivated. There always something new to learn, that next move to perfect or next belt to achieve. It’s so much fun and I love the rush of energy I have at the end of each class. Taekwondo might not be to everyone’s taste, but the benefits I get from it can be achieved through so many other sports and I encourage you all to find an activity that’s right for you.