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The mental health benefits of exercise

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Mental health benefits of exercise

1.

Relieves anxiety

2.

Helps to relax mind and body through releasing endorphins

3.

Reduces symptoms of ADHD, improves concentration

4.

Helps you move out of the immobilisation stress response that characterises trauma

5.

Sharpens memory and thinking

6.

Increases self-esteem

7.

Better sleep

8.

Increases energy

9.

Stronger resilience

How much should you exercise

As long as you:
• Breathe a little heavier than normal (but are not out of breath)
• Your body feels warmer as you move, but not overheated/ sweaty

If you're feeling:

1.

Tired: Promise yourself a quick, 5-minute walk. You'll probably have more energy and be able to exercise longer

2.

Overwhelmed: Think of physical activity as a priority for self-care

3.

Hopeless: Start slow with easy, low-impact activities a few minutes each day (e.g. walking/ dancing)

4.

Bad about yourself: Reframe your mindset about your body. Ask a friend to exercise with you

5.

Pain: Talk to your doctor about ways to exercise safely

How to start exercising with a mental health issue

1.

Start small

2.

Schedule workouts when your energy is highest

3.

Focus on activities you enjoy

4.

Be comfortable

5.

Make exercise a social activity

Easy ways to move more that don't involve the gym

1.

Move in and around your home

2.

Sneak activity in at work or on the go

3.

Get active with your family and friends

4.

Get creative with exercise ideas

5.

Make exercise a fun part of your everyday life

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