"I’ve always found that exercise is the one thing that gets me well again, with depression, it’s invaluable. It makes me feel great, just healthy and active. I don’t feel as tired or lethargic when I exercise and it makes me happy and content in myself."
Physical activity really can improve your mental health. If you build it into your day you will soon see the benefits:
- better sleep – by making you feel more tired at the end of the day
- happier moods – physical activity releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better in yourself and give you more energy
- managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts – doing something physical releases cortisol which helps us manage stress. Being physically active also gives your brain something to focus on and can be a positive coping strategy for difficult times
- better self-esteem – being more active can make you feel better about yourself as you improve and meet your goals
- reducing the risk of depression – studies have shown that doing regular physical activity can reduce the likelihood of experiencing a period of depression
- connecting with people – doing group or team activities can help you meet new and like-minded people, and make new friends.
Mental Health Awareness week gives us the opportunity to think about how we can use physical activity to maintain good mental health.
If you are lacking the connection with people during this time to help keep you active – there is virtual support out there. Click here to find out about Coach AI
If you are a professional working in either the Mental Health or Physical Activity sector, we’d like you to become part of the SW regional hub which has been set up nationally by Mind to bring together the sectors. Please click here to register your interest. We will be using this group to push forward locally across the West of England, the important role Physical activity can play in supporting mental health. At an important time with a changing health landscape, now more than ever we need to make the case strongly.