Get Moving For Mental Health

During lockdown, you may have had little choice of what to do so that a walk round the block became part of your daily routine. That should have reminded you of the physical and mental benefits of fresh air and moving around.

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But as lockdown eases, if you have reverted back to not wanting to exercise and would rather watch television then we hear you! It really doesn’t have to be a chore, any type of exercise is beneficial as long as it suits you and is enjoyable. It should be something you enjoy otherwise you will find it hard to become motivated regularly.

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Exercise can be great to boost your mood. Aerobic exercise, where your heart rate is elevated, have been shown to help depression. They reduce your levels of cortisol (stress hormone). You could try jogging, why not use the couch to 5k app to keep yourself motivated, or a virtual exercise class. Yoga and pilates can have a direct impact on your nervous system, helping to calm it down and easy your anxiety. Some studies have shown that yoga can be beneficial for alleviating stress and even reducing pain and blood pressure.

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Spending two hours a week in nature is good for both your mental and physical wellbeing. This could be your local park, a field, or even doing outdoor circuit sessions in your garden. Make a note of how you feel before and after your workout. Try rating your anxiety and mood out of 10 and see whether the workout has had a positive effect.

If you’re worried that exercise might make an existing health condition worse, then speak to your GP to be sure. Finally, the NHS website offers more than 20 instructor-led workouts at, starting from just 10 minutes long. https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/

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