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Exercise and Mental Health

We all know how beneficial exercise is for our physical health but are you aware that is has massive benefits for your mental health as well and could potentially save your life and money.



Imagine if you went to the doctors with depression or anxiety they prescribed exercise instead of antidepressants. It would save you money in prescription costs and the NHS millions in drugs.

Regular physical activity and exercise can have a positive impact on your mental health helping relieve stress, depression, anxiety and ADHD. It will also improve your memory, help you sleep better and boosts your overall mood.

You don’t need to go run a marathon, attend the gym everyday or take part in a killer boot camp session get the benefits of exercise on your mental health. research indicates that just small amounts of modest exercise can make a difference. Whatever fitness level you are at or age you can use exercise to help you feel better.

The real benefits of exercise on our mental well-being

Physical activity and exercise will have a large amount of physical benefits to those who are active such as weight loss, muscle tone/size, aerobic capacity and add years to your life.

Most people who exercise do so for many other reasons then just the physical benefits. When you exercise you feel better about yourself, it wakes you up and it sharpens the mind. It will give most people a sense of achievement and in turn increases their self esteem and confidence.

The social side of taking part in physical activity and exercise can help improve loneliness and isolation and allow people to develop new skills such as communication, understanding and empathy by socialising with other people. Many people take part in activity because of the social side and the exercise is just an added benefit.



The benefits of exercise on helping depression

In October 2017 a department for health published a report that stated 12% of cases of depression could be avoided with just an hour of exercise each week.

Increase the number of exercise sessions to three a week and you could reduce your risk of depression by up to 30%.

During and after exercise our body releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and increase energy.

Taking a break from your daily tasks to exercise will distract you from any negative thoughts or feelings that feed depression.



Don’t Stress Exercise

When you stress your body goes tense, your breathing changes, you might experience sweating or stomach issues and these cause more stress so a cycle of stress starts. Exercising will break this cycle and help you relax and feel better. So if you are feeling stressed at work or home take a break and go for a 10 min walk.

So what exercise could you do?

There are so many activities that you could do to help you improve your mental health and listed below are just a few.

  • Walking fast or jogging
  • Gym
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics
  • Hiking
  • Football, rugby or another team sport
  • Golf



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