for better mental health

Physical Activity: tips on getting started

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Many people find that physical activity can help their mental health and wellbeing. This doesn’t have to mean running marathons or training every day at the gym. There are lots of different things you can do to be a bit more active.

But it can be hard to know how to get started, especially for those of us with mental health problems. Because of this, we’ve put together some tips and resources for getting more active.

Information and tips

  • Start small. You don’t need to run a marathon or lift heavy weights feel better. You could try doing some simple exercises in your home, or going for a short walk.
  • If you don’t feel confident, ask someone you trust to join you. Or if you would rather try something by yourself, try an activity you can do on your own, like swimming or walking.
  • Do something you enjoy. There’s no need to commit to an activity you don’t like. If you’re not the sporty type, or you’re not sure what to try, find an activity that's right for you.
  • Celebrate your achievements. Make sure to reward yourself when you’ve done well or completed a goal.
  • You don't have to spend money. Gym memberships, equipment and clothing can be expensive, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Try activities you can do for free outdoors, look for local discounts or ask your GP about exercise on prescription.
  • Don't feel pressurised into physical activity. Remember to take care, and be kind to yourself.
  • Other people's stories
  • If you’re interested in getting more physically active, we’ve had some great blogs written by people on how physical activity helps them feel better. Read them here.

RED January

Mind is in partnership with RED January, a community initiative that encourages you to support your mental health by doing something active every day in January. RED January can provide you with a goal and a focus in a characteristically tough month. All achievements are celebrated, no matter how big or small and the RED community is there to support you every step of the way.

Read about physical activity and your mental health

Other people's stories

  • If you’re interested in getting more physically active, we’ve had some great blogs written by people on how physical activity helps them feel better. Read them here.

RED January

Mind is in partnership with RED January, a community initiative that encourages you to support your mental health by doing something active every day in January. RED January can provide you with a goal and a focus in a characteristically tough month. All achievements are celebrated, no matter how big or small and the RED community is there to support you every step of the way.

Sign up for RED January here.

Related Topics

Exercise Wellbeing

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When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information - about a condition, treatment options, or practical issues - is vital. Choose one of the options below to find out more.

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Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.

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