There’s good evidence that being active is associated with improved mental health. People with mental health problems are more likely to experience physical health problems such as being overweight or being more prone to diseases such as heart and respiratory diseases. So, if you have a mental health problem, the health benefits of becoming more physically active are even more important.
• When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (sometimes called ‘feel good’ hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood.
• Your body is better able to control cortisol levels so you may feel less stressed
• Exercise can helps to break up racing thoughts, leaving you calmer and better able to think clearly.
• Taking time out to exercise can give you space to think things over and help your mind feel calmer.
• When you start to see your fitness levels increase and your body improve, it can give your self-esteem a big boost.
And there are also social and emotional benefits for your mental health, which include:
• Being around other people is good for our mental health and can help you to build social networks which may be just as important to you as the physical benefits.
• Lots of us enjoy being active because it’s fun. Researchers have shown that there’s a link between the things we enjoy doing and improvements in our wellbeing overall. If you enjoy an activity you’re also more likely to keep doing it.
If you would like some support to get more active in 2019, why not sign up for RED January? Find out more here.
We also have a weekly Peer Run Physical Activity group. If you would like to find out more about joining, just give us a call on 0191 477 4545.