PROMOTING the health benefits of physical exercise, a medical practice has partnered with a weekly running event.

Burn Brae Medical Group, based at Hexham General Hospital, has become the official practice partner of Tyne Green parkrun, a free 5km run held each Saturday morning in Hexham.

The partnership is part of a wider initiative between the Royal College of General Practitioners and parkrun UK to promote the health and wellbeing of staff and patients.

GPs, nurses and other staff at Burn Brae are being encouraged to participate in at least one Tyne Green parkrun, with staff taking up the challenge and becoming regular attendees at the event.

Dr Sarah Frew, a GP partner at Burn Brae said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Tyne Green parkrun and become an official parkrun practice. We hope that many of our patients alongside our staff will get involved with this fantastic weekly event.

“People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term health conditions, such as heart disease, type two diabetes, strokes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

“Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy levels, and reduce your risk of stress, depression and dementia. If exercise was a pill, we would prescribe it to all our patients.”

As part of the partnership, Burn Brae is recommending people target at least 150 minutes physical exercise over a week through a variety of activities to stay healthy.

Dr Frew said: “The parkrun can help you achieve that goal; it is free, outdoors, on our doorstep, friendly and open to everyone of all ages and abilities.

“So why not go along and give it a try?”

The partnership has been welcomed by organisers of the parkrun who said the health benefits of taking part in the runs were huge.

Claire Knowles, joint Tyne Green parkrun’s co-event director, said: “By having a parkrun practice, we hope to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients and carers, as well as practice staff, reducing the need for lifelong medication.

“We hope to also support the UK-wide movement to scale up social prescribing activities.”

The parkrun takes place at Tyne Green, in Hexham, every Saturday morning at 9am. Prudhoe’s equivalent is held at the Tyne Riverside Country Park.