As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, volunteer Margaret Hughes talks about how regular exercise can help your mind.
Regular exercise can have a very positive impact on depression and anxiety. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better and boosts your overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits.
Research has shown that physical activity releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good, boosting your self-esteem, helping you concentrate as well as sleep, look and feel better. Not bad for something we can quite easily do for free!
Being active doesn’t have to mean taking out an expensive gym membership, jogging at 5am or sporting spandex. There are so many ways to be active and they can all help to improve your mental health.
Taking part in physical activities can be a great way to meet people. They can also offer us the chance of taking a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Leading an active life can help to improve your feelings of self-worth and foster confidence. Taking part in a form of physical activity that you really enjoy can give you a goal to aim for and a sense of purpose.
You don’t have to jump in at the deep end. Build up slowly, at a pace that suits you. You might like to do 30 minutes per day, or you may prefer to split your time into more manageable sessions. It’s entirely up to you! The point is to just get active and avoid long periods of inactivity.
Nothing beats being out in the fresh air so get started and enjoy your freedom now that we are coming out of lockdown again. In fact, why not consider joining a walking group? They are an ideal way of making new friends and in turn sharing experiences and ideas to help improve your life.
[Cover image via Pixabay]