day 3 - Be Active

Your health, your well-being challenge

During the 5 days of the Innovation Festival we are aiming to bring to light how acting upon the different 5 ways to well-being can improve our mental health and well-being. 

On Wednesday our activities encourage you to Be Active. Those who exercise regularly are less likely to develop a range of major illness such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and are much less likely to be overweight.  Physical activity is undoubtedly good for our physical health, but evidence also shows that being more active can be an effective tool for us to use in order to self-manage our mental health problems and improve our general sense of well-being.

What does it mean to ‘be active’?

Being active means anything that we do in our daily lives that involves moving our bodies, such as lifting objects, walking from one place to the next or climbing the stairs. For many of us, modern life means that we don’t move around as much as we would have done in past times. We now have computers and machines that do a lot of the work that we used to have to do with our bodies; we have cars that take us from one place to the next; we have escalators and lifts that take us from one floor to the next. We have created many tools that make our lives easier – but the downside to this is that many of us aren’t being physically active enough, and this impact’s on our physical and mental wellbeing.

How much exercise should we do?

The NHS recommends that adults (19-64) should aim to do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, such as walking, ballroom or line dancing, riding a bike on flat terrain or playing doubles tennis.  Alternatively, doing more vigorous activities such as jogging or running, an aerobics class, playing football or doing martial arts for 75 minutes a week is roughly equivalent to this.

Why is being active important for our mental health and well-being?

We now know that there are strong connections between our mental health, and our physical health – our minds and our bodies. If our bodies are working well, our minds are more likely to be working well too- likewise, if our minds are working well, our physical bodies are more likely to function better as well. Here are some of the ways that exercising can improve our mental health and well-being:

  • Reduces anxiety, stress, and lifts our moods.
  • Makes us better able to cope with stress
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Clearer thinking and a greater sense of calm
  • Exercise can be fun and social

Have a look at what’s on during Wednesday to support you Being Active, and reserve your place by emailing (places on some sessions are limited):


Volleyball (Monday – Thursday: 5.15pm – 6.15pm)


We have the net, so why not give it a go?

If you want to try something different, why not have some fun on the beach volleyball court. We are looking for teams of four to take part in daily events.  Volleyball is an exciting, competitive game that offers an amazing workout through aerobic exercise.  Other benefits include:

  • Improves coordination and balance.
  • Improves mood, mental health, reduces stress, and helps self-esteem.
  • Reduces risk of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Helps enhance the health of joints and bones

Teams of four can sign up by emailing


Singing (8am - 9am)


On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings of the festival, singer and choir leader Claire Tustin will be leading group singing sessions in the Funderdome, 8 – 9am. Anyone is welcome to come along, no experience or skill required, just a willingness to join in, be positive, learn something new and have a go at being part of an impromptu choir.

We will be singing a range of easy to learn, catchy songs that will set you up for the day feeling inspired and energised.

For more information click here.


Mini MOT’s (Tuesday – Thursday, 9am – 5pm)


Our 15 Minute, private health assessments will help you to better understand your current health status.  The assessment will cover a range of checks and basic tests.  Results are available immediately and emailed to you in a confidential report.  You can find more information about the assessment here.  Advanced booking is essential for this activity, which you can do very easily by following these steps:

  • Visit:
  • Enter event code: Northumbrian
  • Select the most suitable date and time
  • Fill in your contact details

Yoga (8am – 9am, 12.30pm – 1.30pm or 5pm – 6pm)


Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental well-being. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing.  Yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance.

Scavenger Hunt (all day)

An individual or team game in which players follow clues to collect hidden QR codes around the Racecourse.  Scavenger hunts help exercise the mind by reinforcing problem-solving skills, and can be a great form of exercise for the body.


Lunchtime Walk


Join our daily walking group to enjoy a short stroll through the local area whilst making new friends along the way. Research tells us that at least 30 mins of moderate exercise a day helps to reduce the risk of obesity in adults.  Regular walking also improves mood, reduces anxiety, aids sleep and improves self-image. You can sign up for the walk now.