Women’s running group aims to improve physical health, and mental health

By Emily Walsh

Sept. 25, 2015

Kelly Clements decided to take a year off after teaching yoga for years. She needed a change in her career and her exercise routine. So Clements became a leader of a new woman’s running group in Charlottetown.

It encourages women of all levels to join and get out and get active, she said.

“I needed a change from teaching yoga and doing the same thing every day”

She joined goPEI! to inspire, teach and motivate women how to run.

“I love to motivate others and push them to do there best. It helps them to accomplish a goal but also motivates me.”

Clements researched different ways to start running, seeking tips from blogs and YouTube.

“I found out you have to keep it simple and run in short sprits rather than long periods of time.”

Clements wants to show people they can run, and she also wants them to know they don’t have to be a certain size or shape to do it.

“Most people think you have to be physical fit to run, but its not that way at all.”

It’s a mental thing, she said.

“You have to tell yourself every day you can do it and keep going and not give into quitting.”

Francois Caron says running is a great form of exercise and keeping your body healthy is great for your mental health.

He is the central region coordinator of the sports and recreation division of the provinces Department of Health and Wellness.

A body of knowledge links physical activity with improved mental health, he said.

“We know exercise is a great mood-enhancing activity.  As we increase the blood flow through our bodies, we release feel good brain chemicals helping us feel better, which impacts our mental health.”

Running helps with mental health and helps build self-confidence and self-esteem, he said.

“Increased self-confidence and self -esteem are both very important for managing our mental health.”