Being active can make you feel brighter, more confident and more alive – and according to a new campaign created by young people in Leeds, it can even be an alternative to other kinds of highs.
According to research compiled by the Mental Health Foundation, any activity, from a 10 minute walk to a two-hour run, can lead to enhanced feelings of calmness, relaxation and positivity.
So it’s no surprise that the young people who created the new Highs of Leeds campaign would rather get high on being active than get high on cannabis.
Chloe Naylor and Lucy Heald, both 17, are cheerleaders with the Yorkshire Martyrs Cheerleading squad. They love the adrenaline they get from competing in front of crowds.
Cheerleading is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK. There are teams across the city, from White Rose Cheer in the south to Genesis Cheer and Dance in Pudsey. Leeds University and Leeds Beckett University both have cheerleading teams. Or if you’re up for a challenge, Aviators Cheer offers an elite competitive cheerleading programme.
For 17-year-old Yusuf Hussain, it’s boxing that’s given him a high – in the campaign he talks about how pumped he feels after a boxing session, and how it helps him to de-stress.
Fellow Leeds City College student Hussein Sillah, 19, throws some funky moves in the campaign videos – he loves hip hop and Afro dance, and says the dancing is a great way to feel confident when meeting new people.
For more ideas about how to get into boxing or dance in Leeds, see our Get Active section.