Amazing Amongst Us - Steph Harrison

Every month in our newsletter we feature someone who is Amazing Amongst Us. This month it is the turn of someone very well known in Sevenoaks. Most of us will at some point have the privilege of assisting her fundraising either with SLJ on our annual October Pink Run or through the multitude of other fundraising events she is involved in ...and that lady is Steph Harrison.

Steph, through hard work and dedication, has raised the most extraordinary amount for Breast Cancer Care and she has recently been awarded the KALC community award for her fundraising from Mayor Roderick Hogarth.

Over 10 years she has raised over £175,000 with a natural ability to inspire so many to assist her in her goal with Pink Week and year round fundraising this is as well as volunteering for events such as the Blenheim Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon walk.

Over a decade she has pushed her fundraising from around £11,000 in the first year to an astonishing £40,000 last year. We have seen the shop windows of Sevenoaks dressed in pink for Pink Week and it’s a great source of pride that the club hosts the SLJ Pink Run every year to help Steph launch her fantastic Pink week! She was heard to say last year that it was the best Pink Run yet , but in true Steph style she has great ambitions for it to grow again this year.

So this year the Pink Run, on 5th October, will be bigger and better inviting more local clubs to join us than ever before with the emphasis on this being an event that is open to all and very much a family event. Steph’s goal this year is to get her total fundraising to rise from £175,000 to £200,000….watch this space for announcements on our SLJ Pink Run coming this October and let’s all help Steph to smash her target!


The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

After a beautiful walk last night across the fields, I was able to take a moment and notice how magical it is when you can feel spring in the air and see everything coming to life after the winter. It reminds me of why exercising outside, at any time of the year, is so restorative to mental, as well as physical, health as you really feel like you are engaging with nature at the same time as improving your fitness.

 The benefits of exercising outdoors are many and far-reaching but it may be a while since you exercised, or you may not know where to start. Read on and hopefully you will be inspired to lace up your running shoes and head into nature with SLJ!

 Mood – being outside and exercising are both recognised ways to help improve low mood and anxiety by increasing feel-good endorphins and increasing serotonin levels (often referred to as our ‘happy hormone’) 

Interestingly a studycarried out in 2015 by Stanford University, found that students who walked for just an hour outside every day improved their health by feeling less anxious than those students who did not. There are countless studies and anecdotal evidence to show that people have benefitted from being outdoors and have recorded lower incidences of stress, lower BP and lower cortisol levels (which is one of markers used for measuring stress in the body)

 Vitamin D– We need this essential nutrient to ensure that our bones, teeth and muscles remain healthy. 

 If you live in the UK then you can only absorb Vitamin D through sunlight from the end of March/early April until the end of September. It is important to note that vitamin D can only be absorbed on bare skin, so apply the SPF after the skin has had a decent exposure to the sunlight (around 30 mins) ensuring that you do apply SPF afterwards!

 At SLJ we very much advocate the benefit of group exercise as well as being huge fans of outdoor training and there has been much reported on the positive effects of training in a group. Group exercise helps with motivation, loneliness, compliance and general enjoyment. We are social creatures and sometimes a session in the outdoors with a group of like-minded people can feel like therapy. We come away feeling mentally and physically restored. 

 These are just some of the many reasons why SLJ remains so popular. Sign up for one of our forthcoming courses and, as well as joining a fabulous and inspiring group of women that will help you to reach your exercise goals, you will also be able to download our ’14 days to get you fit’ plan for FREE.

 What are you waiting for?!