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Physical Activity & Exercise

Physical activity can reduce depression and anxiety, and increase self-confidence. It also releases ‘feelgood’ hormones that make you want to be even more active. See if any of these ideas appeal to you.

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Tips: get moving and feel better

Short of time?

Try a brisk 10-minute walk twice a day to the office or school gates. Small increases in activity are easier to maintain and will give you a regular sense of success.

Do something you enjoy

It could be dancing round the kitchen, a ball game or dog walking – anything. If you find it fun, you are more likely to want to keep doing it.

Explore the outdoors

Being active outside, e.g. gardening or cycling, improves your wellbeing and can give you a sense of grounding and perspective.

Can’t get going?

Try joining a club or class. Other people can help you get motivated and it’s a great way to increase your social contact. Or, if you want to, take a friend with you for support.

I joined gym & now treat it as part of my treatment alongside meds

Racing thoughts?

Lone sports, like running or swimming, can help you get some time to yourself and head space to think things over, away from everyday stresses.

Want to clear your head?

Concentrating on playing a team sport or competitive game, e.g. football or tennis, can help turn your focus away from your worries. And you won’t even realise you’re exercising.

Running clears my mind

Pace yourself

Build up gradually. Too much exercise can make stress worse or cause injury.

Think positive

Celebrate any progress you make, however small. If it motivates you, set challenging but achievable goals, or keep an exercise diary.


Published 2013
To be revised 2015

References available on request – for a list please contact internalinfo@mind.org.uk

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