Portrush Parkrun will be followed directly by a talk from Dr Noel Brick, Ulster University, Coleraine.
Parkrun is one of the fastest growing exercise events worldwide. Since the first parkrun in 2004, there are now over 1,000 parkrun events and over 3 million parkrunners around the globe. In Northern Ireland alone, there are 24 parkrun locations with some attracting over 200 runners weekly. But what are the health benefits of running, and can participation in parkrun provide these benefits? In this talk, we will firstly examine the physical health benefits of running. These include reductions in the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. We will also discuss the social and psychological benefits of running. Most runners will know that running can have a positive effect on our mood. But there is now a strong body of evidence to suggest that regular running can also reduce the risk of, and be an effective treatment for mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Finally, we will explore exciting new research that suggests time spent in natural spaces – like running in ‘green’ parkland or on ‘blue’ seaside beaches – can have additional health benefits beyond those gained from exercise alone.