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5 Ways Parkour Positively Impacts Your Mental Health

While parkour is often thought of as just a physical activity, it also offers a number of mental health benefits that are worth exploring.

In today’s “Getting Started with Parkour” article, we are going to be diving into some of the ways that parkour can benefit your mental health in a positive way, and how it can also benefit other areas of your life.

We’ve also included some mental health resources at the bottom of this article, as well as some of our member organisations that have a focus on the positive impact parkour has on mental health.

1 – It boosts confidence and self-esteem

Parkour involves taking on challenging physical obstacles and pushing yourself to new limits. As you develop new skills and abilities, you’ll start to feel more confident in your abilities, which can translate to other areas of your life. A lot of parkour practitioners always state how what they have learned in parkour has helped them in their day-to-day lives outside of the sport.

This can lead to a greater sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

Parkour helps boost confidence and self-esteem.

2 – It helps manage stress

Engaging in physical activity, like parkour, can be an excellent way to manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. As you engage in parkour, you’ll feel a sense of excitement and exhilaration, which can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Parkour helps manage stress – Photo by Joanna Markiewicz

3 – It improves focus and concentration

Parkour requires a high level of focus and concentration. As you navigate obstacles and plan your movements, you’ll be training your brain to focus more effectively. This can translate to other areas of your life, such as work or school, where you need to concentrate for extended periods of time.

Photo by Scott Bass

4 – It promotes resilience and perseverance

Parkour involves taking on challenging physical obstacles and learning to persevere in the face of adversity and fear. As you develop resilience and persistence through parkour, you’ll be better equipped to handle challenges and setbacks in other areas of your life.

Parkour promotes resilience and perseverance – Photo by Scott Bass

5 – It provides a sense of community and social support

Parkour is often practiced in groups or communities, which can provide a sense of social support and connection. Engaging with others who share your passion for parkour can be a great way to build relationships and feel more connected to others.

Parkour provides a sense of community and social support.

Overall, parkour is a challenging and rewarding sport that offers a number of benefits for your mental health. Whether you’re looking to boost your confidence, manage stress, improve focus, develop resilience, or build social connections, parkour is a great way to achieve these goals while having fun and staying active. So why not give it a try?

Parkour UK Courses for Mental Health

Throughout the year, Parkour UK looks to add more options for coaches and individuals within the parkour community to enhance their learning.

Since 2022, we have been running Mental Health First Aid courses.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You’ll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.

Keep an eye on our socials (@parkouruk) for updates on our next Mental Health First Aid course, or check out our events calendar here.

If you are in a position where you need urgent mental health support, please take a look at any of the following links below:

Parkour UK Mental Health Advice

CALM ZONE Service Directory

Contendunt – Mental Health Helplines (Worldwide)

Parkour Classes with a focus on mental health:

Spiral Freerun C.I.C, Bedford UK – PKUK Affiliate Members
Spiral Freerun Website

Free Your Instinct – PKUK Affiliate Members
Parkour to help people with mental health support needs, operating in London, Somerset, and Bristol
Free Your Instinct Website

Aspire Parkour Academy – PKUK Affiliate Members
Parkour sessions in Peterborough, UK. Coaches have undergone mental health first aid training.
Aspire Parkour Academy Website

Parkour UK Statement Addressing Women’s Engagement Podcast & Social Media Posts

We have reviewed and considered posts that have emerged since the release of our latest podcast episode on women’s engagement, commenting on Parkour UK, our employees, and our work.

Considering the content, we would like to make the following statement.

Parkour UK acknowledge that the post caused concern for some members of our community, this was unintended, and we apologise for any distress caused.

As the national governing body for parkour, we always encourage respectful and considered debate to the posts that we share. When engagement is professional, and solution driven we will be pleased to work with our community on the matters raised to an appropriate conclusion.

We understand that frustrations exist about historical matters. These are matters that we have listened to, taken seriously, and based on independent decision making, we have taken a clear strategic direction which we stand by and believe are in the best interests of the sport.

Since Monday we have been engaging with the authors of the posts and where agreed we have made arrangements to speak on the matters raised.

The women’s engagement project has been designed with positive intent. We would like to encourage more women into parkour, not just by being physically active but also in decision making roles to have their voices heard. The project is in its very early stages and being driven by Lynn Jung from our digital team, who is finding women that are active in the sport and want to tell their stories.

Parkour UK’s social and digital platforms are our main channels of communication with the community. In addition to the ‘communication’ tool, the platforms are a fundamental part of our workplace, so we feel that it is important to identify and challenge confrontational behaviour so that our staff feel safe to undertake their roles.

So that our digital spaces can be a safe, inclusive space for discussion and sharing of ideas and to ensure everyone has a positive experience, we would encourage everyone to maintain the behaviours / principles outlined on our website. You can find this by following the link below.

Parkour UK do not plan to make any further comments on the matter. Through our continued work to serve, elevate and add value to the parkour community we will engage through our staff and board and welcome respectful and considered contributions.

Further details on our engagement strategy and opportunities to contribute will be shared.

Parkour UK Monthly Update – February 2023

Parkour UK’s monthly update for February 2023.

February was a short but busy month. We had a lot going on at Parkour UK, and things were moving quickly. This update involves our upcoming courses over the next few months, our attendance at events, and welcoming a new team member!

Level 2 Coaching Course – Bookings & Payment Plans

Looking to take your Level 2 coaching qualification this summer?

Books for our summer cohort are now available, with spaces filling quickly! We recommend booking the course as soon as possible.

The course cost for our Level 2 coaching qualification is £595.00, and a PayPal pay-in-3 payment plan is available at the checkout, so you can spread the cost of your payment over three months.

You can find out more about PayPal Pay in 3 here.

PLEASE NOTE: Pay in 3 is a form of credit, so carefully consider whether you can afford the repayments and be aware of the possible impact of missing payments, including making other borrowing more difficult or expensive.

Parkour UK - Level 2 Qualification Dates

Upcoming Course – Level 1 Peterborough

Parkour UK Level One Peterborough Coaching Course

Bookings are still open for our Level 1 assistant coaching course at Aspire Parkour Academy in Peterborough.

The course runs from April 3rd – April 6th and costs £375.00.

A to B with Parkour UK – Our Podcast

In the opening weeks of January, the digital support team, along with Parkour UK’s head of development, Chris Grant, went to The Motus Projects HQ in Staplehurst to record the Parkour UK podcast.

A to B with Parkour UK is a podcast by Parkour UK which aims to bridge the gap between the work Parkour UK is doing and the parkour community.

In our opening episodes of the podcast, Callun and Chris discussed the recent Level 2 redevelopment and dived more into detail regarding the mental health first aid course that Parkour UK delivers.

Parkour UK Podcast – MHFA

If you have any questions for the next round of podcasts, make sure you reach out to us. We are expecting to record the next set of episodes in March.

Our Women’s Engagement Project

Although it is in its early stages, the women’s engagement project aims to tell the stories of the strong female leads within our sport. This project is being developed by Lynn Jung, who is part of our digital support team.

Parkour UK is keen to break down the barriers and adversity that women in sport face, and Lynn being at the forefront of this project is really helping us make that happen!

Our latest podcast episode details a little bit more regarding the women’s engagement project, you can watch/listen to that by following the link below.

Memberships Are Moving Forward!

Our membership lead, Kieran, has been working hard on the memberships and the benefits they offer.

The memberships admin area needed a lot of work and overhauling. To best understand where memberships need to go, we first must have some up-to-date, clear, and useful areas to store and track information.

One of my projects recently has been to gain some insight from our members as well as non-members to share some ideas and understand how we can best support the community. Groups were split into Coaching Organisations, Coaches, Brands, and Unstructured Communities, but there will be more insights in the future for groups not fitting nicely within these categories. It has been great to hear from those selected for some discussions.

Kieran – Membership Lead

Kieran and Chris met with one another on the 21st of February in Newcastle to discuss memberships.

Mental Health First Aid – London POSTPONED

Our MHFA course at Parkour Generations London has been postponed.

We will be publishing an amended date for this course soon.

New Staff Members

We would like to welcome Andrew to the Parkour UK team.

Andrew has joined Parkour UK in a finance support role.

Andrew’s role is in all things finance! His main areas of focus will be on budgets and financial reporting following our £1.5 mln grant from Sport England.

We will be introducing Andrew to everyone on our social media over the next few weeks.

Parkour UK’s Attendance at Events

At the end of February, Callun & Chris took a visit to London for the Supa XXL jam and awards.

The awards celebrated Supa XXL, who have been running weekly Sunday sessions at different locations in London over the last decade.

Since COVID, Sunday Supa XXL’s sessions started up again, and they even started producing weekly videos of their sessions for YouTube.

IMAX Parkour
Supa XXL Jam London

The awards celebrated the greatest and best of the Supa XXL sessions, with golden bricks given as awards for categories, like “Biggest Shinspiration.”

They also made a plaque for “Best Spot” – which was hung at the Chalk Farm colourful wall spot.

We’re really looking forward to next year’s Supa XXL awards. They’ve set an extremely high bar, and we are really excited to see what they come up with next!

Parkour London Best Spot 2022
Chalk Farm Walls – Awarded Best Spot of 2022

We are always looking to feature more news from our community. If you have an upcoming event, competition, or jam, or have anything you would like featured in a future Parkour UK post, make sure you reach out to us on our social platforms, @parkouruk.

Digital Safety Principles – Parkour UK

Parkour UK’s social and digital platforms are our main channels of communication with the community. We want our digital spaces to be a safe, inclusive space for discussion and sharing of ideas.

We aim to post on our social media channels almost every day with tips and advice, inspirational stories and the latest events in the community. Additionally we regularly share longer form updates through podcasts, blogs and email.

To ensure everyone has a positive experience, we need your help in keeping our digital spaces safe. These are the behaviours/principles that we would encourage when you engage with our platforms:

Celebrate the diversity of our community

We encourage diversity in our community and welcome all to feel safe and accepted. Consider other’s perspectives and challenges they may face when you are communicating.

Assume positive intent

Be kind and courteous, assume positive intent in others and be respectful of differing opinions. There is a small, dedicated team of people who care deeply about their work at Parkour UK who are happy to support you however they can. All members and executive team should be always respected and treated positively.

Feedback, communicate and criticise

Maintain a professional, polite and constructive manner in communication about Parkour UK on public platforms and in individual communication with the team and board members. Healthy debate, feedback and constructive criticism is encouraged but Parkour UK expects views to be discussed respectfully.

Be helpful

Our goal is to build a community that can share their solutions and work together to grow parkour. If you have an opportunity to support a member or bring something positive to the community please do so – and/or contact Parkour UK so that we can help.

Protective Measures

Parkour UK’s priority is the safety of the staff team and the wider community. Our digital platforms are a workplace and we will have a zero tolerance policy on any behaviour towards our team or our community in the workplace which falls outside of the principles above.

Examples of behaviours that fall outside of the principles would be:

  • Use of derogatory language about or towards any individual(s) or organisation(s).
  • Any action towards Individuals or organisations that could constitute bullying, harassment or intentionally harming another.
  • Attempts to discredit, shame or embarrass members of Parkour UK or the organisation as a whole on our platforms.

Behaving in a way that falls outside the principles above will result in immediate blocking from interaction with any of our social media channels.

  • If the individual(s) responsible for the behaviour are not members, they will not be informed of this action.
  • If they are members they will be informed by email of the action.
  • We will also report the posts using the reporting mechanisms on the relevant social media programme. 

Lifting of any blocking or digital bans is at the discretion of Parkour UK.

Reporting and Contact

If you see something that you think falls outside the principles of this policy you can DM us through any of our social media channels – @parkouruk or email

Parkour UK Monthly Update January 2023

Happy New Year to everyone!

Following a short break over the Christmas period, Parkour UK has been busy in the month of January.

Here’s what has gone on!

Level 2 Coaching Course – Bookings NOW ONLINE!

Our Level 2 coaching qualification course is now available to book for the Spring and Summer intake for 2023.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us!

We have recorded a podcast that aims to answer any questions regarding the new Level 2 course. We recommend checking it out, as the answer to your question could be in there.

The link is below!

A to B with Parkour UK – Level 2 Redevelopment

A to B with Parkour UK – Our Podcast

In the opening weeks of January, the digital support team, along with Parkour UK’s head of development Chris Grant, went to The Motus Projects HQ in Staplehurst to record the Parkour UK podcast.

A to B with Parkour UK is a podcast by Parkour UK which aims to bridge the gap between the work Parkour UK is doing and the parkour community.

On the day, we managed to record a number of podcasts, with episode one available to listen to now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. We also recorded a video of each episode of the podcast, which you can watch below.

If you have any questions for the next round of podcasts, make sure you reach out to us. We are expecting to record the next set of episodes in March.

Episode One of A to B with Parkour UK is available now

January Board Meeting in London

On the 14th of January, we had our first board meeting of the year in London.

The Parkour UK board members were joined by the Parkour UK team, who led a historical tour of the iconic IMAX parkour spot.

At the start of the day, we talked through the key moments / historical events at IMAX to chart the communities’ development and show how and why a location can become a linchpin of a community. Chris and Callun for lead this and made it engaging by showing some old photos from over the years.

The Imax Tour with the Board

To get to know each other we then heard about each other’s backgrounds/roles and discussed getting started in the sport, and the common barriers to participation. We considered assumptions about parkour; challenging “it’s just about roof gaps and massive jumps” / “it’s dangerous” / “it’s all about damaging property and antisocial behaviour”.

The board then stayed on for their first meeting of 2023.

Caroline Joins the Team

In January, we had a new member join the Parkour UK staff team.

Caroline joins the team in a Workforce Support role, helping Simon in his very busy role.

“As part of the Workforce Support Team, I’ll be leading on the bookings and support for Level 1 & 2 courses, and look forward to hearing from learners and helping on your coaching journey. 

I will also deal with any inquiries that learners may have and generally support them to complete their chosen course.  I am currently involved with researching new CPD opportunities for the Parkour Community and will assist the wider team to review existing materials for existing CPD/coaching qualifications.  I have already organised to visit a local Parkour session to me which is exciting and I look forward to travelling across Scotland to visit other opportunities too over time.”

Caroline – Workforce Support

Mental Health First Aid – London

On the 20th-21st of March, we are running another mental health first aid course, this time at the new Parkour Generations venue.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You’ll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.

You’ll also learn how to empower someone to access the support they might need for recovery or the successful management of symptoms. This could include self-help books or websites, accessing therapy services through their GP, their school or place of work, online self-referral, support groups, and more.

The course is available at a heavily discounted rate of £85 for the two days, and you can contact us if you have any questions.

London MHFA at Parkour Generations, London

Parkour UK’s Presence at Competitions

In January, Chris visited Newcastle for the Northern Speed and Skill competition, hosted by The Urban Factory and NEPK.

Parkour UK is trying to visit as many grassroots parkour competitions as possible this year, this is to help us understand how competitions are structured and run within the parkour community.

Chris was even talked into competing in the skill competition whilst he was there, which has pushed him to make a commitment to training more this year.

We want to visit as many competitions and events as we can this year, so if there is an upcoming competition that you are hosting, make sure you let us know, and we will do our best to get a member of the team to the event. You can let us know about competitions and events by messaging us on Instagram @ParkourUK.

What To Expect At Your First Parkour Jam

Parkour jams are events organised by the parkour community. The structure of these events is usually very loose and relaxed.

A jam session is where community members come together to train at a specific location, town, or city. These are also typically arranged on social media. Within the last five years, jam announcements have risen on platforms like Instagram, which has slowly been taking over from forums and Facebook groups that came before it.

For someone new to the sport, attending a jam session can be very daunting, especially if you’re travelling on your own. In this piece, we will give you some information about attending a parkour jam, some of the unwritten dos and don’ts, and some of the key bits of information you need.

A Parkour Jam in the rain… No Excuses!

Starting and Finishing

When a jam is announced and advertised, there will most likely always be a meeting time (Usually around midday). Although this is the time the jam “starts”, the structure and timings are very loose. You can reach the spot early if you wish and start training then. Usually, if a jam starts at 12:00 PM, there will be some people who get there at 11:00 AM to get an early warm-up in.

It is also very rare that a jam will have an end time (This is different if the jam is held at an indoor facility, like Fluidity Freerun in Wales, or Team Reality in Grimsby.) Because of the loose structure of these jams being arranged by people who practice the sport, practitioners will tend to train until they feel like it.

Here, it is important to not wait for a structure. Jams are just like any other training session you may have, just with a few more people and set in a specific location. If you’re ever unsure, ask someone! The community is really welcoming, and there will be loads of people who are willing to help newcomers.

Don’t Be Afraid To Approach People

Parkour jams are incredibly sociable events. Don’t be too shy and approach people. Ask people questions like how long they’ve been training and where they are from. These are typical questions that usually pop up when parkour practitioners first meet each other, but they can help spark conversations between people.

It can be scary approaching random people for the first time, but everyone is really understanding and helpful.

It is worth keeping in mind, however, that if someone looks like they are just about to go for a jump or challenge, or they are in the middle of filming a clip for someone, then it may be best to wait a moment before speaking to them.


Let People Know You Are New

There are loads of individuals within the parkour community who are willing to help people who are new to the sport. It’s also very likely that some of the jam’s attendees are also parkour coaches. Although they will be off the clock, they will happily share some of their coaching knowledge with you and would be able to help you learn while training.

The York Takeover 2022 Event

The Community’s Advice

Jams, typically (but not always), are usually held in cities, which requires a little bit of traveling.

We put out a story on Instagram asking for the community’s tips and advice for parkour jams, and there seemed to be a hive-mind-styled agreement on the following;

Introduce Yourself – One member of the community put it very well. “Introduce yourself to the people you’ve never met. They could be just as nervous as you.”

Stay Aware – Parkour jams can become very busy and crowded places. It’s important to stay aware during a parkour jam and try not to stand in the way of someone’s jump or challenge. It can also be a very easy mistake to make when walking from one side of the spot to another to walk without looking. Much like crossing the road, we encourage everyone to exercise their awareness at these events, and it’s something the community is very passionate about.

Be Respectful of People The Public – Unless it’s a jam session arranged at an indoor facility, like a parkour gym, the majority of jams are hosted at outdoor spots in public places. It is important to remember in these public places, that the public comes first. If your jump or challenge goes across a path or a walkway, make sure you check to see if any members of the public are approaching before you jump, and always give them the priority to pass first.

When you’re training at these spots, you are representing parkour and the parkour community, and your actions and behaviour could positively influence someone’s view of the sport.

Public spaces are for everyone to use, and with parkour, we challenge the conventional use of public spaces, but it is important to respect the community outside of parkour too.

Be Respectful of the Environment – As mentioned above, a lot of parkour training takes place in public spaces. Be respectful of the area you are training in, we’ve listed some tips below;

  • Don’t use walls that are fragile or breaking.
  • Clean up your litter (Leave no trace)
  • Clean up others’ litter (This can really help your relationship with the spot)
  • If you’re playing music, keep it at a respectable volume.
  • Be respectful regarding where you put your bags – Don’t leave them obscuring walkways or paths.

Be respectful of other Practitioners – Everyone is at a different stage of their parkour journey and when it comes to parkour, there is a reason we focus so much on the term “community“.

When at these sessions, be respectful of everyone’s ability, age, identity, background, race, gender, or story. Parkour is for everyone, and jams are a great safe space for groups and individuals to feel safe within their community.

Regardless if you’ve been training for 1 week or 10 years, everyone does parkour to progress their own movement. Let’s be supportive of one another!

Bring Portable Chargers – These aren’t always essential, but if you’re using Google Maps to try and navigate the busy streets of London or Liverpool, you’re going to need some juice to keep your phone going, especially if you want to capture any of the action later in the day. Again, these aren’t essential, but they’re a nice touch to bring and alleviate worries throughout the day. (Don’t forget your cable!)

Portable chargers can be handy if you’re attending events like the Sheffield or York Takeover (Read Here), having a portable charger is essential in order to capture the number of challenges you do.

Water – Where portable chargers are more of a choice, there is no denying the essentials of water. Some spots at jams are a fair bit of distance from the nearest shop, so bringing a bottle (or two!) of water will keep you hydrated throughout the day. Parkour is exercise, and you need to keep yourself hydrated when exercising.

Location Pins for Maps – As mentioned above, most jams are organised casually, usually being announced in the form of an Instagram post. An address and a location would be given for this, but sometimes the location isn’t always clear. We always encourage people to ask about locations, trying to get information like street names, postcodes, etc. If you can, put it into Maps and “pin” the location – this will save you from having to search for it each time you open the map.

Do you have any more tips for people attending their first parkour jam or event? Let us know by reaching out to us on Instagram, @ParkourUK