Healthy exercise

Exercising does not mean hours need to be spent in the gym. Alternative exercises can be incorporated into busy farming lives without the need for equipment or great expense.

Britain’s Fittest Farmer

Britain’s Fittest Farmer was launched by Farmers Weekly in 2018 as a fun way of sparking a vital discussion about the physical and mental health of the nation’s farmers.

As farming becomes less active and more mechanised and office-based, it’s more important than ever before to make sure Britain’s farmers are getting the exercise that they need to stay fit and healthy.

This competition aims to get all farmers thinking and talking about their health, physical and mental, to make sure they are in top condition to run their farm businesses.

“Feel no guilt about being off farm to exercise” – click here to read the full article with Farmer Weekly on how to prioritise and look after your physical health.

FarmWell – Fit for harvest

  • Harvest can be one of the busiest times of the year for arable farmers, ensuring you are physically fit for the season is important for your physical and mental wellbeing to endure this demanding time. Harvest time can involve days sitting on a tractor, so understanding how you can stay healthy while sitting down for long periods of time is essentially for a healthy mind and body.
  • FarmWell has developed a downloadable resource on staying fit for harvest, click here to view.
  • Download below.

 RUN FARMERS RUN! – Farm Safety Blog 2021, Mind Your Head week 2021 – importance of exercise on your mental wellbeing.


Parkrun is a 5 km free running scheme that takes place every Saturday morning at 9am nationally and internationally. Any ability and age of runner can take part, whether you are a beginner or experienced runner. There are over 6,500 parkrun clubs across the UK, check the website to find out where your nearest run may be:

Find your nearest Parkrun

NHS Get Fit For Free – The secret to getting fit for free is to use every opportunity to be active. Click here to find out more.

Farm Runner

  • Farm Runner is a more farming based run set up by Ben Eagle who hosts the run with Thrive Outdoors. A 5km run every week for the community to take part in promoting the mental health benefits of being active through social media promotions under the hashtag #farmrunner

ManDown Project

  • A new initiative is helping to raise awareness of the issue of male suicide and encourage men to look after their mental and physical health.
  • The ManDown Project, established by Thrive Outdoor, encourages men in north Essex to get active and involved in its FarmRunner programme at Devereux Farm near Frinton on Sea in Essex. FarmRunner was initially launched in July 2019 as a way of getting people together to exercise and socialise in the local area. However, the initiative was put on temporary hiatus due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Thrive Outdoor is teaming up with FCN and the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group to relaunch the project in May 2021, following the easing of lockdown restrictions across England. Farm Runner will be relaunched on Saturday 1 May. Sessions will be fortnightly from May to October.
  • To find out more about Farm Runner, visit the Thrive Outdoor Facebook page or email:

12 Week fitness plan

This NHS link guides you through a 12 week fitness plan, of 10 minute daily workouts aimed at integrating exercise and fitness into a busy daily routine: NHS 12 week fitness plan

  • It is always important to warm up before exercising, to prevent injury and make the exercises more effective.
  • A warm down is just as important to relax your muscles and lower your heart rate.


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