How can exercise benefit your mental health?

Rohan and sport 2

Rohan's experience is one of many we share in our membership magazine, make sure you join to get your copy and much more delivered to your door. 

Exercise strengthens the body but rests the mind - Rohan.

Studies have shown that people who are more physically active have more positive emotions and higher levels of self-esteem, and that regular aerobic exercise increases positive moods. Physical activity can enable people with severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, to enjoy a better quality of life, by providing a sense of purpose and control.

Why do Mind members exercise?

Even when I’m at my lowest, I know if I can get out of the house for a walk or run it will
make me feel better. I’d recommend it to anyone – it’s not about staying slim, it’s about staying sane! - Lydia

Sometimes you just want space in your mind. What’s truly wonderful about Yoga is that I am able to bring myself back to a rational, calm state. - Nicky

The buzz of competing in events, challenging my fears and working through  self-defeating thoughts and behaviours has made exercise very valuable to my mental health. - Karen

Advice for getting active

• Start off with a goal in mind and break it down into small, manageable chunks.

• Write down the positive aspects of what you’re doing – like feeling more healthy or
gaining confidence. Read through the list if you’re struggling for motivation.

• Eat healthily. Food with plenty of vitamins and minerals makes you feel better about yourself and gives you more energy.

• Remember that cheap options are available. Going for a walk costs nothing, and many local Minds offer subsidised ways to get involved in physical activity.

• Enjoy yourself – focus on your achievements and the way your mind and body are changing.

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