Physician, heal thyself..with a parkrun

 

Doctors are very good at getting us to look after ourselves, giving us all kinds of checks and tests, particularly when we reach a certain age, measuring this and that (though not the other) and pointing out that we should probably eat less and drink more, water that is.

But who advises doctors to look after themselves? In the case of the local family doctors (GPs) where I work, it’s other GPs, and a new campaign has started with a parkrun. Alistair, our Director of Primary Care, who is also a GP, came up with Healthier Healthcare, an initiative to encourage GPs and their staff to look after themselves, so they are then in a better place to look after us. And let’s face it, we’re more likely to take advice on fitness from those who clearly look after themselves.

With my parkrun connections, I suggested he and a few colleagues come along one Saturday morning and either volunteer or run, they are both just as good for wellbeing after all. With just over 300 runners this week, more than a quarter put their hands up when asked who worked in the NHS. There’s a lot of us! For some it was their first time at a parkrun. One colleague brought her teenage daughter, who was so taken with the 5km run, she wanted to come back for our special Christmas Day run. A GP colleague who was a first-timer was amazed, he says he’ll be back and will recommend it to his patients too.

Next up for Healthier Healthcare is more running (including parkruns) and the Leeds Half Marathon, with staff hopefully taking part in either the corporate relay or running the whole thing. I’ve a sneaky feeling I may be in one of the teams, it will be the slow one!

 

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