It would be hard to overstate the benefits that physical activity brings to our well-being. With this in mind, Merton council has launched a new campaign to give
residents a gentle nudge towards being more active.

The Try 20 in 2020 campaign promotes the benefits of moving more and sitting less. But it’s not just about running a 5K or taking up yoga – although these are both great options, if you fancy them.

Try something new

Starting with the notion that there really is an activity out there for everyone, the campaign encourages people to try something new; showcasing the borough’s amazing community assets, such as parks, into the bargain.

Being active is great for our mental and physical health, but there are major social benefits too – the friends you can make and the fun you can have by joining a sports club or walking group, are often life-changing.

Cut your carbon footprint

Taking up a new physical activity can also help you to cut your carbon footprint. With two thirds of the borough’s air pollution produced by vehicles, swapping petrol for pedal power, or walking down the street rather than sitting behind the wheel can go a long way to making both the planet and the local community healthier. The beauty of Try 20 in 2020 is that there really is an activity to suit everyone.

Help children be more active with everything from crazy golf to a game of hopscotch or register for updates on fun family activities with Change4Life.

You’re never too young to take part, so help babies and toddlers enjoy being active, whether by playing in the mud or splashing around in a paddling pool.

A personal insight

GP Laura Jarvie is backing the campaign, having experienced first hand the feel-good effect of regular activity.

“I found my life as a GP was making me increasingly inactive, which in turn seemed to be sapping my energy” she said, “when I took up running I discovered so many new parks, trails and wonderful spaces in Merton, and a year later completed the London Marathon!

“Activity became a part of my everyday life, the more I talked to patients about becoming more active the more I saw them enjoy the benefits too and now I train healthcare professionals to do the same.

“In 2020 I’m going to learn to ride my bike through the free cycle training scheme so I can cycle to work. I’ll challenge my big kids to a game of table tennis in the park and play pooh sticks in the Wandle with my littlest – there really is something for everyone!”

For more details contact public.health@merton.gov.uk

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