Be active

There is a close relationship between physical health and mental health. Keeping fit can improve our mental wellbeing too. Go for a walk or run. Cycle. Play a game. Do some gardening. Dance. Exercise makes you feel good. So discover a physical activity that you enjoy, one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Be active - the evidence

Regular physical activity is associated with a greater sense of well-being and lower rates of depression and anxiety.  While some evidence suggests that physical activity three to five times a week is needed for symptoms of depression to be reduced -  mood has been shown to improve with single bouts of exercise of less than 10 minutes. So a small increase in your activity level can enhance your well-being.

Relaxation exercises

Physical relaxation techniques can help prevent stress. One way of keeping calm is to do regular exercises that teach you to slow your breathing down. Exercises can also help you to breath more deeply, which provides extra oxygen to the blood and causes the body to release endorphins - a naturally occurring chemical that produces a feeling of well-being.

Tips for being active

Build activity into your normal day by walking instead of taking the bus, get off the bus or train a stop earlier, use the stairs rather than a lift.   Or take up a sport, but make sure it is one you enjoy - otherwise you won't be able to keep it up. If you can, make this a sport involving other people as it makes it more difficult to drop out.

You can find out more in this short film.

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