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Mental Health

It's well known that regular exercise is good for our bodies – and there's good evidence that it can help improve our mental wellbeing too.

An Overview of Mental Health

Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems.

MIND's online information about getting started with physical activity can help people with mental health problems better understand how sport and exercise can improve their physical and mental health – and overcome some common barriers.

Deciding what's safe for you, how hard you should push yourself and finding the right sport or activity can be difficult when you've got a mental health problem. And we can all struggle finding the motivation to be active.

Benefits

Mood: when asked to rate their mood immediately after periods of physical activity (going for a walk, doing housework) and periods of inactivity (reading a book, watching television), participants felt more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active.When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (or 'feel good' hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood.

Stress: when events occur that make us feel threatened or upset, our body's defences cut in and create a stress response, which may make us feel a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms. These symptoms are triggered by a rush of stress hormones – the fight or flight response. Adrenaline and noradrenaline raise our blood pressure, increase our heart rate and increase the rate at which we perspire. This causes us to feel stress. Physical activity is a good output for relieving these symptoms and consequently relieving stress.

Self-esteem: how we feel about ourselves and how we perceive our self-worth is a key indicator of our mental wellbeing and our ability to cope with life stressors. Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-worth. When you start to see your fitness levels increase and your body improve, it can give your self-esteem a big boost. The sense of achievement you get from learning new skills and achieving your goals can help you feel better about yourself and lift your mood.

Depression and anxiety: physical activity is increasingly used as an alternative treatment for depression. It can also reduce levels of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and may also be helpful for treating clinical anxiety.One study has found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by almost 20%.

Social and Emotional Benefits: being around other people is good for our mental health and social networks, plus you can maximise the benefits of exercising by doing it with other people. Lots of us enjoy being active because it's fun. Researchers have shown that there's a link between the things we enjoy doing and improvements in our wellbeing overall.

Don't forget the physical benefits too. Being physically active can reduce your risk of some diseases, improve the health of your organs and bones, help you to maintain a healthy weight and give you more energy.

Involvement

Quick tips for being more active - Watch the video for five ways to get moving and feel better.

Find Mental Health Clubs/Groups Near You

Use the search below to find local organisations near you.

National Governing Bodies

MIND

Contact Name
MIND
Contact Email
contact@mind.org.uk
Contact Telephone
020 8519 2122
Tai chi movements for wellbeing with christine

Tai chi movements for wellbeing with christine

A 6 week course which introduces you to a tai chi practice that promotes mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing .

Kiddie Yoga

I teach yoga and mindfulness to children age 2 to 15 years old. I have an after-school club in Sandy and one in Biggleswade. I also run a monthly Family yoga for children aged 3 to 12 with their parents.

Canoe Trail Ltd

Canoe Trail is a multi award winning family run watersports and adventure activities business offering canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), bushcraft activities, archery and airguns, low ropes and climbing wall, We run corporate team buildi

Mindful Yoga

Mindful Sport in collaboration with Bedfordshire CAMHS offer Mindful Yoga- a session designed to create headspace for young people aged up to the age of 19.

WheelPower

WheelPower

WheelPower are dedicated to providing opportunities for disabled people to find a sport they enjoy and provide opportunities throughout the year to introduce people to wheelchair sport..

Mental Health First Aid England

Mental Health First Aid England

MHFA came to England in 2007 and was developed and launched under the Department of Health: National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE) as part of a national approach to improving public mental health.

10 Today

10 Today

10 Today is a set of fun, 10-minute, audio and video routines to help older people get stretching and moving at home. They're adaptable to different fitness levels and can be done at any time, standing up or sitting down.

MIND

MIND

MIND provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

Multi Sport Coach (part time 15hrs)

We are seeking an experienced sports coach to deliver our award-winning sports and educational programmes for adults and young people. The purpose of this role is to provide, supportive, accessible and welcoming sport and activity sessions for people experiencing mental health challenges, deliver physical activity focused workshops for young people and promoting the work of Sport In Mind, while representing the charity's values and ethos.

Sports Project Officer

We are seeking a self-motivated, personable and enthusiastic individual to work as part of a team to maintain the successful delivery of our apprenticeship programmes. The role will involve working with our apprenticeship employers, learners and workforce.
The successful applicant will be able to develop relationships and communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and partners. The ability to multi-task, problem solve and deal with conflicting priorities is essential. We are looking for an individual that has good attention to detail and can use their initiative.