A mindful approach to running in Middlesbrough
6 July 2022
6 July 2022
Many athletes enjoy the wellbeing benefits of running, and Aimee Bell is no exception. “My favourite thing is being out in nature and training in local parks, green spaces and along the River Tees. Looking after your physical health and mental health whilst out in nature is just so refreshing for the soul. I always feel great after it.”
Aimee Bell is the owner and director of yoga studio and Community Interest Company AMALAwellness, which offers classes around the Teesside area. As a relatively new runner, she’s looking forward to completing her first ever running event this year, the Middlesbrough 10K, where she’ll be fundraising for Teesside Hospice.
“They do amazing work with people and families in Teesside,” Aimee explains. “My Dad passed away in March 2021 and we were lucky to get him home. Many people go through this alone, or cannot get home for whatever reason and I think that it is such valuable work to offer that support for people when they need it most. I know my Dad would be happy for us to support them also.”
Aimee’s family friend, Izzy, will be running with her. After doing her work placement with Aimee’s dad, who was a scientist, Izzy came to think of John as her “dad up north”, and she wasn’t alone in admiring him. “Everyone who met my Dad loved him,” Aimee says. “He was just a great guy, a true gentleman and a devoted husband and family man. I loved his amazing sense of humour - he is dearly missed.”
Aimee is quite new to running – she only started after she decided to do the Middlesbrough 10K, but she plans to keep it up. When it comes to running, Aimee definitely isn’t trying to be the fastest or most competitive. Instead, she enjoys running as a way to be present in the moment, be more active, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
“I have found it is great for my mental health and my cardio fitness has really improved too. I love putting music on and going for a run around a local park, beck or along the river. When running, everything seems to come to life, like the smells and colours. Being out in nature and the fresh air does wonders. It is really such a positive thing and sets me up for the rest of the day.”
As well as running, Aimee uses practices such as yoga and meditation to take care of her wellbeing. “I used to suffer greatly with my mental health, especially anxiety. I started practicing yoga back in 2013 and learning techniques to help with my wellbeing. It changed my life for the better. I love being able to share this with people.”
Aimee started her business, AMALAwellness in 2019, and now offers yoga, tai chi, meditation and relaxation, and ‘Keep Moving Teesside!’ classes across Middlesbrough and Stockton. Aimee encourages anyone interested to try mindfulness practice. “I often see students thinking that they need to sit or practice for extended periods to meditate, take part in yoga, tai chi and other modalities. Consistency is key. It is better to do 10 minutes a day, than 2 hours every month, or an hour a week.”
Aimee has found that focusing on consistency has also helped her slowly work up to the 10K running distance. She thought she’d really struggle, but has been finding her running journey very enjoyable. When she’s out running or trying new things, she often finds herself thinking of the quote “You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.” We wish Aimee the best of luck for the Middlesbrough 10K!