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Staying Active for Mental health

With the start of the 2022 Commonwealth games today, we feel like this could be a very good opportunity to talk about the impacts that sport and physical activity could have on mental health!

This is an incredibly accessible way of supporting your mental health that can just about be done wherever, within reason of course. For example, if you’d prefer to stay at home there is a wide variety of physical activities that could accommodate that. Whilst if you’d like to go outside there are plenty of options for that too. Depending on what you are wanting to do, you won’t really need to spend a lot of money to join in!

So why exactly is physical activity good for your mental health? Studies show that this is the case for several main reasons.

1) It can keep you focused on something positive and away from any intrusive, stressful thoughts that could negatively impact your mental health.

2) If done outside it gives the chance to be around nature where you can experience fresh air!

3) Doing physical activity can often release hormones such as endorphins in your body which as a result may leave you feeling happier.

4) Often doing physical activities could lead to you using up more energy, making you feel a lot more tired by the end of the day. This should hopefully mean you get better sleep!

5) Depending on the kind of physical activity you are doing; you could be able to connect with others. Whether that be because you are doing the activity together, or have something in common to talk about.

Hopefully, that short list helps answer the question of how taking part in physical activity could help your mental health! It’s important to note that this is just a quick list of potential reasons based on studies so everyone could find alternate reasons as to why doing physical activity has had a positive impact on their mental health! For example, someone else could find that after taking part in some sport their confidence improves.

There is such a variety of what you could do as part of physical activity to, for example, any of the following so hopefully, there is something for everyone.

- Walking/Running

- Football

- Indoor exercises

However, whilst we are saying this could be a potential way of helping your mental health, it is also completely okay to not be feeling up for taking part. Or if it is not something you want to do, there are alternative ways of supporting your mental health that does not require doing physical activity!

At Burton and District Mind we are strong believers that anyone who wishes to take part in sport should have access to it. That is why we support Mind with their partnership with Sport England to improve access across the country! They are one of 120 organisations that have been chosen to do so.

This means they will receive £1.9 million in funding over the next 5 years from Sport England to co-deliver the 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.

You can find out more about this here ->


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