James Herrick: Exercise gives me mental clarity

Do you ever find yourself wondering where you’re making for next? What the markets are going to do? How you’re going to pay the bills? What that means for your business? I do.

Quite a lot actually and sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.

See also: James Herrick – it’s time for a pto rethink

About the author

James Herrick
James Herrick is based on his family’s suckler beef and arable farm in Leicestershire. A passionate conservationist, he’s keen on using technology to maximise agriculture’s profitability and lessen its impact on the environment. Away from the farm he likes to compete in triathlons and endurance races.
Read more articles by James Herrick

A study by the Farm Safety Foundation found that 92% of farmers under the age of 40 believe that poor mental health is the biggest issue facing the industry in the future.

Another industry survey suggested that 36% of farmers are “probably” depressed.

I have worked in agriculture since leaving school and, despite it being the best industry in the world, we can be guilty of casting an eye over the neighbours’ hedges.

That, coupled with social media providing a running commentary on everyone’s pub yields and new purchases, means even the most staunch of us can be left feeling deflated.

I’m not going to pretend that I have suffered with depression (for that I am extremely grateful), but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to take time to keep my mental health in check.

My go-to de-stressing mechanism is to exercise. I love nothing more than to go for a run, spend time on my bike or, when time allows, go swimming.

As odd as it may sound, I actually find that It gives me clarity and allows me to think.

I know many will claim to be too busy or not have time, but the personal benefits will far outweigh the time it takes. The positive effect on your working life will be profound.

Since my son Freddie’s arrival, I have struggled to “get out” and I can already tell that the lack of exercise is taking its toll.

I’m not suggesting that we all get a gym membership, a new pair of running shoes or strive to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We should, however, make time for ourselves by doing something that we enjoy away from work, be it exercise, socialising or watching a good movie. After all, we’re here for a good time, not a long time!

Britain’s Fittest Farmer 2023

Britain's Fittest Farmer logoAt Farmers Weekly, we believe in farmers being mentally and physically fit. That’s why we started Britain’s Fittest Farmer – to promote health and wellbeing, meet other farmers and have fun.

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