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Physical Wellbeing - Brighten your spark

Everyone is after that one easy solution to being happy, that one golden piece of advice that will change their world. Well the answer really is very simple but you have to do it yourself and it will take some work but the results can be as quick as you want to make them or slow as you are making them now. I have taken the slow route and it has been helped by improving my physical health and consciously caring for the people I have contact with.

It’s a shame farming is so damned stressful given we work in the great outdoors which should reduce stress not increase it. The reality is, pressures are forcing people out of the industry and if we don’t continually keep working on our own health we will need all the plant protein and synthetic meats we can get because there will be shortage of people to milk the cows and work the drystock.

If you think back to when Fit4Farming was formed 2 years ago no one thought that farmers could benefit from some extra exercise off farm. I was even told that I couldn’t tell farmers they weren’t fit. Now we have more farmers aware of their personal fitness - sharing fitness tips and counting steps or promoting exercise and better nutrition. It is becoming part of our daily language and that’s where it needs to be.

The benefits of physical exercise to mental, emotional and physical wellbeing have been proven over and over again it just means experiencing a bit of discomfort while you get going. If we start talking about physical health at our fieldays and meeting s then maybe it wouldn’t be such a barrier to start.

Dairy farming has a tendency to suck people away from recreation and happiness but we don’t have to accept that because we have the power to make a difference. Living with a 24/7 - 7 day a week life eats away at a person’s soul like a virus until the person cannot cope anymore and they get out of farming one way or another. How good would a farm fielday be if it started by discussing who had accomplished some stuff outside the farm business, maybe a sport or hobby or passion.

Sleep, improved diet, happiness, clarity of mind, decision making, more energy are all outcomes from a healthy active lifestyle. It gives you a sense of accomplishment which brightens your spark which changes how you are perceived by others.

We can’t wait for the industry to make us well, we have to do that ourselves and as the old cliché says ‘it starts with the person in the mirror’. You reap what you sow, receive what you give. If you want to feel happy then make the effort to be happy. Go for a walk or run or bike ride then encourage your friends or staff to do the same maybe build up to a sporting event or simply use it as a de-stress.

Whatever you do, do something.

Ian Handcock


Millennium Farming

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