Few, if any people will have complete physical, mental and social wellbeing all the time. Trevor Smith, a senior member of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, will join us every week to talk about mental health and wellbeing

Of course, health and wellbeing is a huge subject, so the aim of the article is simply to give some useful insight, to share my experiences and if you’d like to, you can even join a friendly challenge that you can share on social media.

This week, after a short introduction I would like to touch on a topic that is a real passion of mine, physical activity. I have been lucky that physical activity has always been a big part of my life. From being part of a local junior football team during my school years, to the 5am runs on the assault course during military basic training. This was followed by the seemingly never-ending circuit training sessions during the rest of my military service. Upon leaving the service I made it into a successful career working in some of the most luxurious five-star hotels across the Middle East. Having now returned to my native North East again doing something I love, supporting primary schools to develop the physical literacy of all their pupils through active learning which will help children enjoy a healthy, fun and fit life. This all came about with the arrival of my daughter which got me wondering about her physical activity journey and what that will look like, something we will cover in more depth over the coming weeks.

The Northern Echo:

Being active is good for your health and wellbeing in many ways

The lockdown restrictions have given us all the opportunity to get more physically active, I wonder how many have? I certainly do not mean that in a preachy kind of way, everyone knows the benefits of regular physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices, it’s our motivation and confidence that are major factors that could be obstacles in whether we participate.

During the lockdown restrictions, it has been great to see the sense of community responsibility in regard to protecting the NHS with most people observing the strict social distancing rules.

We can all continue to protect the NHS in other ways even when the lockdown restrictions have been completely lifted. Did you know the gov.uk website shows the most recent spending figures prior to Covid-19 for the direct cost to the NHS for overweight and obesity-related ill-health was an estimated £6.1 billion in a single year?

We can all take some form of physical activity, I am not suggesting for one moment that you should immediately go out and try to run a 10K, but if you can great – do it. It must be right for your circumstances and it can seem an overwhelming task to begin with. However, moderate physical activity can be a brisk walk, 30 minutes of gardening or even doing household chores incorporating some silky dance moves. My wife will testify that I love doing the washing up while dancing along with the music of George Benson playing in the background. Well, now that I have shared that little secret then maybe I can persuade you to share some of your physical activities.

This week’s challenge

This week I would like you to take part in some form of physical activity, it can be anything at all, something you already do regularly or something you are trying for the first time. Share your photos and comments with us and tag us on Twitter at @TheNorthernEcho and @TSmith_PE

If you are looking for some inspiration for activities to do with the family, try the ‘Stay Active’ resources which are completely free at www.premier-education.com/stay-active/ - check out all the activity cards and videos under the ‘Physical’ section.

The Northern Echo:

Be inspired to join Trevor's weekly challenge

If you would like to let me know how you have increased your normal levels of activity over this lockdown period, ask a question or suggest a topic that you would like me to cover in the coming weeks, you can contact me at tsmith@premier-education.com

Good luck

Trevor works at Premier Education. He is a senior member of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and a member of the International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA).