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Staying Cool In Mind And Body


Odlo European Regional Manager discusses how running benefits your mind and body.

 

Mental health is something that impacts many people and so I know that I am not unique in facing my own mental health challenges both at work and at home. Everyone has their own ways of coping both physically and mentally. For me, talking to someone and exercising helps keep my mind cool and what I wear keeps my body cool.

SO WHO AM I?

Dad, Husband, Uncle, Son, Senior Manager, Business Owner and Ex-Competitive athlete.

 

I wrote this blog because I am the Regional Manager for ODLO Sportswear, (hence the semi shameless plug on our new technologies), and I wanted to talk about how running helps my mental health. I'll also touch on why the kit I wear makes a difference too.

 

I run 3 companies and as a father of 4 wonderful children and a husband to an incredible wife, life can get pretty stressful at times. Sometimes I just want to scream out loud or escape, even if it's just for a moment. I know I am not alone in that feeling; it consumes many of us and I'm here to tell you that IT IS NORMAL!

 

SPORT HELPS WHEN LIFE GETS STRESSFUL

It is at these times I turn to exercise; I focus on taking the heat and stress away from my mind and drive the blood flow into my body through movement. This helps free my mind and keep it from boiling over. 

 

I’m not a club runner, I just run for peace of mind on my own or sometimes with others. I find dynamic body exercises to break up my run really helps keep my motivation going, like jumping, press-ups or chin ups. This is why I think Tough Mudder is one of my favourite events that I’ve ever done. I find running only events more challenging, yet they can be more mentally rewarding.

 

At big events I feel that crowds cheering you on really helps too. Without the amazing crowds, I would have found running the London Marathon much harder than I did. While I suffered physically in my first marathon, mainly because I only trained up to 25km, it was one of the most mentally liberating experiences of my life. I had never experienced that kind of pain and discomfort before and I know that without those incredible crowds cheering me on, I would've never achieved close to my 4-hour target time. From this experience I've learnt that if you want to really test what you are made of, run a marathon!

 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF PEOPLE

People provide positive energy and so talking to the right people can make all the difference. I find it much easier talking to people who don't know me about my mental health because I feel less judged. I’ve used a few different therapists to help me work through some of my challenges and I find it helps getting a few different viewpoints from different people. This is a service you can access on the NHS

 

In my younger days I went through a tough divorce and Men's Advice Line were amazing and very supportive. I was made to feel like I could discuss anything without judgement, which I think is one of the biggest fears for men.

 

Some people just don’t get it, aka the ‘just man up’ brigade. Don’t confide in those people, they will only make you more anxious. Remember that it’s okay for them to not understand and try to be thankful that they don’t feel the way you do, not resentful.

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Trust me, you are never alone and it is always worth speaking to someone about what you are going through. The mind is an incredible machine, but all machines need looking after and re-setting from time to time.

 

Here are some helpful contacts for this:

RUNNING KIT

How can running kit help your mental health? Easy…..

 

The right kit makes your run more comfortable. Good functional kit is worth the extra spend because it let's you focus on your run, not on what you are wearing! Personally, I get hot and sweaty when I run so I like to use fabrics that keep me cool and help keep the moisture off my skin.

 

My Kit List

  • ODLO Chill Tec Run Tee
    • Keeps me cool via convention, plus it doesn’t smell, it's super light and easy to wash.
  • ODLO 2 in 1 Shorts
    • Cermaicool liner reduces over-heating. They are fast wicking, don't smell and I love the phone pocket on the liner.
  • ODLO Ceramicool Socks
    • Anti-blister, fast drying and cooling. Good socks are really important for running.
  • ON & HOKA Footwear
    • I would suggest ON shoes for distances up to 10km and Hoka for long distance running. 

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