Making strides to boost your health


We all know that looking after our health is important but I think it‘s true to say that we often avoid exercise. Not because we don’t like it but because we think the only way to exercise is to join a gym, where membership fees can be costly and where we feel awkward or out of place because we’re surrounded by those perfect “Gym Bods”.

However, running and jogging is a completely free exercise and apart from it not costing you any money,  the health benefits are huge.

Not only can running or jogging improve the health of your heart and lungs, it can also increase the strength in your joints and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Regular running can help with weight loss, lower high cholesterol levels, boost the immune system and is also thought to improve mental health wellbeing and can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.

Hypertension or what is more commonly known as high blood pressure is also reduced to a lower level following a run.

It doesn’t matter whether you walk, jog or run as all of these activities are beneficial in their own way.

The above has been sourced from:

For many people the thought of running on their own just doesn’t appeal to them so why not join your local Parkrun?


There are many parkrun’s spread across the country including Central Park in Chelmsford Essex, which has been known to attract more than 800 runners.

What does it cost to Join?

It’s free to join.  All you need to do is register before your first run.

The Chelmsford park run is held every Saturday at 9am and you can run at your own pace, so whether you’re a novice or a seasoned runner, the parkrun is suitable for everyone.

The course
The course is 5km long and starts from Central Park, Chelmsford and is run on a mixture of tarmac paths and grass.  It’s a one-lap circuit and you’ll run by the River Chelmer and out to Admirals Park.  It’s a really enjoyable run, where you will take in picturesque scenery.

Post run coffee
It’s a really friendly atmosphere and after your run you are welcome to join other runners in the ‘Cake at the Lake’ where you can swap stories about your run and maybe make some new friends.

Sponsors of parkrun
Running is one of the simplest and most accessible ways of improving your health, which is why Vitality who are one of the sponsors has partnered with parkrun.  Vitality is a health and life insurance provider that rewards you for being healthy.  If you are already a Vitality member then by linking your Vitality account to your parkrun profile, you can earn 5 Vitality points by volunteering and 8 points for taking part.  As well as protecting you when the unexpected happens, Vitality encourages you to lead a healthier life and rewards you for doing so.  The healthier you are, the better the discounts and incentives you receive.

If you would like SMP Healthcare Ltd to provide you with a quote from Vitality Health or any other private medical insurance provider, then simply contact Tracy on 01245 929129 or email: