The inspiration behind RED

I was inspired to start RED January after witnessing the transformative effect that regular exercise had on my Mum as she recovered from a period of severe depression.

Exercise was something I use as a tool to help me manage every day stresses and wondered if it could also help my Mum as she started to recover. I signed us both up to a walking marathon. Slow and steadily, my Mum began getting out of the house each day to train. She started to see a change in her mood and energy and some of the symptoms lessened. The sense of achievement gained by setting a goal and seeing it through, along with the physical affects of regular exercise helped transform her approach to managing her mental health.

This got me thinking about what was out there for people like my Mum, who might need extra support to take on a physical challenge, but could benefit hugely from an all inclusive event. We found these to be lacking, particularly in the winter months, at a time when many need an extra boost of motivation.

By providing a free event for all fitness abilities, we believed we could encourage people like my Mum to support their mental health by building movement into their daily lives. By marrying a fitness challenge, with the support of a wider online community, the focus was on creating an initiative that not only helped support people for one month of the year, but throughout the year and beyond.

January seemed like the perfect month for such an initiative, providing an opportunity to kick-start the year in a positive way. It’s a time when many are setting new goals, are low on funds and motivation, with less social occasions to keep us connected. RED was an empowering colour for dark times that could inspire those taking part to ‘get active every day, to beat the blues away.’

Since starting RED January in 2016, I’m proud to be a part of a community that’s growing in support and strength year-on-year.

We’re excited to see where this RED January takes you all!’

Hannah Beecham,
CEO and Founder of RED January and RED Together.