As part of Move for Movember 2021, Matt Chapman, our Barking and Dagenham Talking Therapies Exercise Coordinator, will be completing 60km of exercise. That’s 60km for the 60 men that we lose to suicide each hour, every hour across the world.
Matt will complete a very tough 10km swimming, 20km running and 30km cycling challenge throughout November. He'll be updating everyone on his progress with videos and potos in the hope that he can inspire other men to talk more openly about how they feel. He will also be produce some short videos around important men’s health topics.
Matt want to raise awareness of the importance of men’s health and engage service users by asking them to create their own challenges for the month of November and commit to looking after themselves.
Here's Matt to tell you a bit more about the challenge.
If you'd like to find out more about Move for Movember as part of #Movember2021, you can find out more on their website site: Movember
Matt's Week 2 update
I started the week with a cycle ride, my aim was for 10km but I was feeling good and managed 15km. This was a great sense of achievement and really put me in the right frame of mind. It is important to be realistic when setting goals. They need to be achievable and if we overachieve the brain loves it. Sense of achievement should never be overlooked when performing an exercise to improve mental health.
Starting any new activity or challenge is always going to feel like a lot of effort and most of the time we use our 'effort muscle' allowance up in daily activities especially when we are experiencing low mood or anxiety, the simplest of things seem to take a big toll. The length of the swim and the fact that we are halfway through the month and that I have only completed less than 2km is a little bit daunting. I have a few swims scheduled this week and I'm determined to get the distance up. Ensure you have a plan and activity schedule it helps break down the amount of effort required to perform an activity. We have a well-known (ish) saying in Talking Therapies... "Follow the plan and not your mood". If we allow our mood to dictate our behavior, chances are we will do very little. Mood and activity sit in a cycle that complements each other. We do more pleasurable activities, we improve our mood and positive thoughts. The activity doesn't always need to be intense but get used to the act of doing.
I am thankful for a lot of support in my run this week. I went back to my hometown and ran the Barking Parkrun. I've run a few Parkruns and they are always friendly environments but I was blown away by the support and kindness I received from old friends, new friends, and strangers. I would highly recommend Parkrun to all fitness levels, you can run, walk or crawl and the level of support you will receive will be the same. Visit the @Parkrunuk website to register, it's free!
This really highlighted the importance of building a great 'support crew' when starting when creating and sharing activity goals. Sharing your goal with like-minded people, people that want you to succeed, and people that have got your back will give you a better chance of achieving them.
You can follow Matt's progress on Barking and Dagenham Talking Therapies social media and also find out more about their upcoming events.