Information about how physical activity can help your mental health, and tips for choosing an activity that works for you, and how to overcome anything that might stop you from becoming more active.
Being physically active tends to be easier if you choose an activity that you enjoy, and that fits into your daily life. If you force yourself to do something you don't enjoy, you're much less likely to keep it going and experience benefits to your mental health.
There are lots of different things you can try – not everybody will enjoy or feel comfortable doing all of these activities, so you may need to try a few before you find something you like. You may also find that different things work for you at different times, depending on how you're feeling.
If you think you might find it hard to get going with any of these things, we have information which may help you get started.
Here are some ideas for activities you can try:
"It calms my mind, it stops me ruminating, it actively lifts my mood and it makes me feel a lot more positive about life."
"I'm not the sporty type, but I love walking. It really lifts my mood."
"Swimming has helped me. The pool is one of my safe places now and I go twice a week. It means that I'm tired at the end of the day so I can sleep much better, and I feel happier about my body."
"The thought of going to a gym on my own terrified me but I started going to various exercise classes with a friend. The difference it made to my mental health was incredible."
Sujan found that joining a jogging group helped her manage her anxiety and panic attacks. In this video she shares her story.
This information was published in March 2019. We will revise it in 2022.
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