What is Parkrun and Why Should You Get Involved?

Parkrun is a community of runners who get together weekly to improve their health and wellbeing, while enjoying their local parks.

So what’s Parkrun all about?

Parkruns take place each weekend at local parks with 5k runs on Saturdays and 2k junior runs on Sunday. Don’t be put off by the word ‘run’ though as you can also walk, jog, volunteer or simply spectate to get a better feel of what a parkrun is all about.

Why you should get involved with your local Parkrun.

There are countless reasons and benefits to sign up and join your local parkrun, not just the financial aspect that registration is completely free. Register here.

Community Atmosphere

Parkrun has a positive, welcoming atmosphere where there is no time limit and no last place. Exercising with other people can provide you with support and motivation, increasing your exercise consistency. Furthermore, taking part in parkrun with other members of your community means you can get to know new people as well as catching up with friends, while being physically active.

Health and Fitness

Reading through the personal stories, you can see a trend of people feeling their fitness has improved and their mood boosted. Depending on how you take part in a parkrun, the intensity of physical activity could be moderate (walk/jog) or vigorous (run). Either way, through taking part in a 5K you do enough exercise in one sitting to reap the benefits. These include: reduced risk of certain conditions such as Type II Diabetes and dementia, increased mood and self esteem, and stronger muscles and bones.

You should note, however, that although parkruns are a great introduction to running and more physical activity, as you increase your fitness and enjoyment of exercise, you should try and increase your physical activity time to 150 minutes of moderate intensity, 70 minutes of vigorous intensity or a combination of both.

The Outdoors

Connecting with the outdoors while being physically active makes exercise more enjoyable. Outdoor exercise can be more challenging due to natural terrain yet it may feel less strenuous than running on a treadmill, which is also less sustainable.

Exercising outdoors lets your mind recover from a busy week, letting go of any tensions and reducing the risk of anxiety and depression. As little as 5 minutes exercise in the outdoors has been proven to improve your self-esteem. Being outside in your local park can help you feel more connected to your surroundings, which can build a sense of grounding and gratitude.

To find out more, check out our blog post on the Benefits of Exercising Outdoors.

Joining parkrun can mean walking, jogging, running or volunteering to you individually but collectively it will mean improving your health and happiness, increasing your sense of community and learning a new skill. Find out more about Parkrun at their website.