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Physical activity and your mental health

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.

Mind's services

  • Mind's helplines provide information and support by phone and email.
  • Local Minds offer face-to-face services across England and Wales. These services include talking therapies, peer support and advocacy.
  • Side by Side is our supportive online community for anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

Other organisations

Active Partnerships
A network of 43 local organisations across England that support sport and physical activity opportunities for participants, coaches and volunteers. Has a search tool to find your nearest partnership, with opportunities to be active in your local area.

Activity Alliance
Supports disabled people to become more active. Provides information about how to start, where to find inclusive programmes and gyms, and personal stories about getting more active with a disability.

Be Inspired
Guides on how to get started with a range of different sports, including how to find a local organisation and clubs, as well as ideas for exercising on a budget, and with a disability.

Carry on Gardening
Help for anyone with a disability to start or continue gardening.

Disability Sports Wales
Provides a search function to help you find organisations and classes in Wales offering inclusive activities for people with disabilities, including behavioural and learning difficulties.

Get Set to Go
Mind programme that supports people with mental health problems to take up sport or physical activity in England.

National Trust
Lists walks and open gardens, parks and estates that you can visit.

NHS Live Well
Advice, tips and tools to help with health and wellbeing.

Organises free, weekly, 5km timed runs across the UK.

Supports people throughout England and Wales to spend time walking outdoors, through their programmes and community.

Run Together
A directory of running groups across the UK. Supports mental health via a network of Mental Health Champions and #runandtalk events.

Social Farms & Gardens
Information on care farming and community growing projects, including a network of local farms.

Provides information about taking up cycling, including information about cycle safety, and ideas and maps for local rides.
Has a search tool to find your local swimming pool, information about adult swim classes and water-based sports, as well as pool exercises you can do on your own.

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)
Runs conservation activities and a network of Green Gyms across the UK.

The Wildlife Trusts
Organisation made up of local membership groups which care for nature sites.

This Girl Can
Ideas to help anyone who identifies as female become more active, providing information about a wide range of sports and other activities, including ways to add more activity in your day-to-day life.

Walking for Health
Supports a network of walking groups across England.

We Are Undefeatable
Campaign to support people with long-term health conditions to be more active, including mental health problems. Includes information on finding new ways to be active, and ideas for getting started with physical activity.

Woodland Trust
Protects trees and forests in the UK.

This information was published in March 2019. We will revise it in 2022.

References and bibliography available on request.

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