Connect Health is supporting parkrun for the NHS

Connect Health is attending parkrun for the 75th NHS birthday is being held across the UK on the 8th and 9th of July.

8th July

Described as the perfect opportunity for those who’ve never run before, or who may feel apprehensive about running, parkrun is a chance to get moving or even to join in the fun as a volunteer or spectator!

Mike Carpenter, Consultant MSK (musculoskeletal) clinician, head of clinical delivery (South) and MSK national lead for Connect Health, described the NHS 75 parkrun as ‘a great opportunity for people to take steps towards improved health and wellbeing by walking, jogging, running, volunteering or coming along and clapping on the sidelines.’

Mike said:

Everyone at Connect Health is hugely excited to be joining the events. parkrun is all about participation and getting moving – whatever your level of fitness. Many people will be walking the course, so you definitely don’t need to be able to run. It’s all about togetherness, being more active and celebrating 75 years of our NHS.

From countless studies and our own work in the local community, we know the positive impact that even very gentle movement can have on physical and mental health. People of all ages can join in the fun, so why not bring your friends, your family members, your colleagues or just head down to your nearest parkrun on your own and be part of something very special.


Mike has compiled a list of top tips for getting involved in the events safely, regardless of age or fitness level:

Persistent/chronic pain doesn’t mean you can’t join in – movement and exercise can often help to ease pain, but it’s likely you’ll need to start slowly and find an activity level that works for you. Don’t put yourself under ‘performance pressure’, especially when starting out – which leads us onto the next, very important tip…

Enjoy yourself! The parkrun event is all about having fun, with others, outside in the fresh air – it offers a chance to meet new people, plus it’s a great motivator and provides some accountability, meaning you’re more likely to continue. And enjoying yourself will also increase the likelihood of sticking with it over time, gradually improving your fitness as you go.

● And if health reasons do prevent you from walking or running around the course, you can still join in and be part of the fun as a volunteer or ‘cheerleader’.

If you have any existing medical conditions (such as heart or lung conditions), it is advisable to consult a medical professional. It may be that your GP or health provider will give you the go-ahead to commence, but they can advise more specifically depending on your own circumstances.

Remember to give your body the chance to adapt when starting new or more physical activity. Muscles and joints respond to movement, but sudden increases can make it difficult for the body to adapt quickly enough. Start steady and build up gradually, rather than trying to do twice as much the next time. Recovery (incorporating factors such as a healthy diet, rest breaks and sleep) is also important for this process.

● If you are choosing to walk, jog or run, take the time – five to ten minutes minimum – to warm up properly. This helps to prepare the body for activity you are about to engage with. Simple moves like knee bends and shoulder rolls can make a big difference in preparing your body – there are some good warm-up suggestions at

● With temperatures rising in some parts of the country, it’s important to prepare for the weather conditions on the day – staying properly hydrated before the event and ensuring you have water with you as you complete your parkrun is certainly sensible. If it’s really hot, take breaks around the route – and if you start feeling dizzy or light-headed, stop your run/walk and speak to a volunteer.

● And a final reminder to take a moment to enjoy the sense of euphoria and satisfaction of taking part – which is likely to keep you coming back for more!


Our teams will be attending parkrun in:

Darlington – South Park

Hammersmith and Fulham – Fulham Palace

Hertfordshire – St Albans

Milton Keynes – Willen Lake

North Kirklees – Crow’s Nest

North West – Heaton Park

Oxfordshire – Oxford

– Henley

South Tyneside – South Shields

South West Essex –Basildon

Wolverhampton – West Park

Newcastle – Rising Sun


Find out how you can get involved on the parkrun website