The 5 ways to wellbeing

There are 5 pillars to wellness and being active is one of them. But you can actually easily incorporate a bit of physical activity into each of the other 4 too!


Building meaningful connections with people, getting active, actively taking notice of the world around you, learning new skills and giving time is the way to stay feeling good. We've come up with some ideas below to help you build each of these things into your life.

Connecting with people feels good. Being active is a great way to bond with family and friends (it’s also a great way to make new friends too!) But what exactly do we mean by ‘connecting’?

Try a group activity – there’s plenty of sports groups in and around South Tees that you can join that are full of fun, friendly people. And it doesn’t have to be a competitive sport, although if you do have a competitive streak, there are plenty of clubs for you too! You could try a gardening or walking group (yes, gardening groups do exist!). You’ll be surprised what you might find once you start searching online and asking people – there are groups and sessions catering for all interests and abilities. So why not try joining a group or exercise session and perhaps make some friends for life?

And if you’re not keen on joining a group, just getting outdoors and saying ‘hello’ to passers-by is a good way to connect with people. And you never know, you might become friends with someone you bump into, or you might get to know a neighbour a little better.

Get active with the ones you love – get-togethers don’t always have to be a sitting-down affair. You could try going for a walk or visit a local beauty spot. It will be a refreshing change of scenery and will give you something new to talk about and experience together; it’s all about making those memories.

Have fun getting active – exercise isn’t all pain; it can be really fun! Whether it’s dancing in the kitchen with the kids or throwing shapes in a Zumba class, exercise can bring us closer to people through fun and laughter.

We all know being active is great for our physical health, but it’s also great for us in many other ways.

Head on out for a run – you might have heard of the “runners’ high”. Well, during and after exercise the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are powerful little things that make you feel great after exercise and can reduce stress. Not only that but they also are a natural pain reliever. The good thing is you don’t have to do something as vigorous as a run to unlock endorphins, any exercise that gets your blood pumping will result in a healthy dose of endorphins.

Clear your head – many of us live hectic lives. If we aren’t running around after the grandkids we’re working or doing jobs around the house. This can leave us feeling tired and drained by the time evening rolls round. Making time in the day to do physical activity gives you more energy to do the tasks you need to do while also helping us to sleep better at night. It’s win-win.

Keep your brain healthy – physical activity keeps your brain healthy. That’s right, physical inactivity has been linked to dementia while having an active life has been shown to improve brain health and concentration. If you’re someone who struggles to stay focused, physical activity could be the answer.

Feeling stressed, bored or down? Or maybe you just want some ‘me-time’ away from the stresses of work and the kids? Keeping moving is a great way to refocus and stay in the moment.

Explore – go outside and find a new route or discover new things about an old route. Has that tree always been there? What types of birds can you see? Why not take a closer look?

Nature – when you’re out in nature, take time to notice the sounds and smells around you. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as breathing in the cool, clean air or quite as relaxing as listening to the birds sing or rain dripping off leaves.

Listen to your body – notice the sensations your body is feeling. Notice how your breathing changes when you change speeds or move differently and what parts of your body you can feel working.

Notice your feelings – if you’ve just achieved a new personal best, notice how you feel in that moment. Do you feel proud? Happy? Exhausted? A bit sweaty maybe?

Learning has been linked to increased self-esteem and encourages social interaction. So if you’re going to try and learn something new, why not make it something activity-based, to get your body moving too.

Learn to dance – physical activity can help you learn new skills, like a new dance move or technique you can use on the court or pitch. You’re bound to discover new interesting sights and scenes while out walking, scooting or cycling too.

Set yourself a challenge – set yourself a challenge and you might be surprised at what you can achieve. What do you think you’re capable of? Jogging on the spot for 1 minute non-stop? 5 minutes non-stop? Or 20 minutes non-stop?

Explore your local area more – a great way to learn about your community is to explore the local area on foot or on a bike. You might stumble across some historic building or site you never knew existed. You might even find a new place to explore the next time you’re out.

Get your creative juices flowing – design an obstacle course or challenge that the whole family can get involved in. Could you hold your own sports day in the front room or recreate Ninja Warrior in the back yard?

Did you know that people who actively go out of their way to help others are more likely to feel happy within themselves? We’ve put together some ideas on how you can get started with giving more.

Try volunteering – volunteering is a great idea and not only does it improve your wellbeing and help your community, it can also be a great way to get active. Plenty of groups and sports events need volunteers, why not explore some options?

Share your skills – you’ve learnt or an activity you love with someone else. You never know, they might before a fan as well.

Share – share ideas, experiences and useful tips with others, for example, chat to a neighbour about a new place you’ve discovered so they can go and explore it too.

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