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Mental Health

It's well known that regular exercise is good for our bodies – and there's good evidence that it can help improve our mental wellbeing too.

An Overview of Mental Health

Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems.

MIND's online information about getting started with physical activity can help people with mental health problems better understand how sport and exercise can improve their physical and mental health – and overcome some common barriers.

Deciding what's safe for you, how hard you should push yourself and finding the right sport or activity can be difficult when you've got a mental health problem. And we can all struggle finding the motivation to be active.

Benefits

Mood: when asked to rate their mood immediately after periods of physical activity (going for a walk, doing housework) and periods of inactivity (reading a book, watching television), participants felt more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active.When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (or 'feel good' hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood.

Stress: when events occur that make us feel threatened or upset, our body's defences cut in and create a stress response, which may make us feel a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms. These symptoms are triggered by a rush of stress hormones – the fight or flight response. Adrenaline and noradrenaline raise our blood pressure, increase our heart rate and increase the rate at which we perspire. This causes us to feel stress. Physical activity is a good output for relieving these symptoms and consequently relieving stress.

Self-esteem: how we feel about ourselves and how we perceive our self-worth is a key indicator of our mental wellbeing and our ability to cope with life stressors. Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-worth. When you start to see your fitness levels increase and your body improve, it can give your self-esteem a big boost. The sense of achievement you get from learning new skills and achieving your goals can help you feel better about yourself and lift your mood.

Depression and anxiety: physical activity is increasingly used as an alternative treatment for depression. It can also reduce levels of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and may also be helpful for treating clinical anxiety.One study has found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by almost 20%.

Social and Emotional Benefits: being around other people is good for our mental health and social networks, plus you can maximise the benefits of exercising by doing it with other people. 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.

Don't forget the physical benefits too. Being physically active can reduce your risk of some diseases, improve the health of your organs and bones, help you to maintain a healthy weight and give you more energy.

Involvement

Quick tips for being more active - Watch the video for five ways to get moving and feel better.

Find Mental Health Activities Near You

Use the search below to find local activities near you.

Better Health

Sat, 01 Aug 2020

Make Inside Feel Better.

Every Mind Matters

Tue, 01 Sep 2020

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more.

One You

Thu, 01 Oct 2020

Being healthier is not just about doing the right thing – it's about making changes to fit your lifestyle and make you feel good.

We Are Undefeatable

Thu, 29 Aug 2019

When you’re managing a long term health condition, being active is about finding what works for you.

Active 10 App

The Active 10 app records every minute of walking you do (anonymously). Just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go!

Couch to 5K

Get off the couch and running 5K in just 9 weeks. Grab your trainers and follow the step-by-step audio instructions.

Get Set to Go

Get Set to Go helps people find the physical activity that's right for them so that they are able to enjoy the physical, social and mental benefits of being active.

National Governing Bodies

MIND

Contact Name
MIND
Contact Email
contact@mind.org.uk
Contact Telephone
020 8519 2122
Allestree Aces Jog Derbyshire Group

Allestree Aces Jog Derbyshire Group

We are a small friendly Jog Derbyshire Group from beginners to intermediate runners. For information on the group please contact Helen Treece directly.
The group normally run on a Monday at 6pm. But please be aware that times and days can change so do co

East Midlands Parkour

East Midlands Parkour

EMPK is a group of professional Parkour/Freerunning athletes and coaches with 10 years of training and 2 years of coaching each.
We run multiple weekly sessions for people of all ages and abilities.
Follow us on social media!
@eastmidlandsparkour

East Midlands Parkour Coaching

East Midlands Parkour Coaching

EMPK is a group of professional Parkour/Freerunning athletes and coaches with 10 years of training and 2 years of coaching each.
We run multiple weekly sessions for people of all ages and abilities.
Follow us on social media!
@eastmidlandsparkour

PfP Leisure

PfP Leisure

Not-for-profit organisation provided leisure facilities to clients across the country including local authorities. Manage over 120 leisure centres in England.

RideWise

RideWise

RideWise is a charity dedicated to supporting and enabling the use of sustainable forms of transport. We inspire and support people and organisations to travel more frequently by bikes, trams, trains, buses, walking, cycling, carsharing and even electric

Meiyo Karate Club

Meiyo Karate Club

We teach a self defence orientated style of Karate: Shindo Jinen Ryu. Our website is www.meiyo.org.uk. Our Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/meiyokc/

bhangraFusion

bhangraFusion

Bhangra Fusion Fitness is a cardio workout programme with a difference. Using a combination of traditional bhangra moves and bolly themed routines, members get a great fun energetic way to stay active and fit.
Classes are for adults and children.

Soar Valley Leisure Centre

Soar Valley Leisure Centre

We are a popular and busy centre in the heart of your local community.

Alive and Kicking Martial Arts

Alive and Kicking Martial Arts

Providing Martial Arts Training from age 3 upwards including Special need pupils everyone is welcome to come along and join our club family and start being a better version of you

Notts in City Minds

Notts in City Minds

NEW, FREE, men’s mental health project, based at Melbourne Park (NG8 5HJ – Leen Valley, Aspley). Participants can take advantage of the green space, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, as well as outdoor seating area, indoor café and learning suites.

Moira Furnace Guided Walk

Moira Furnace Guided Walk

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader.

Sence Valley Guided Walk

Sence Valley Guided Walk

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader

Walk2Run 21

Walk2Run 21

Beginner friendly running group, led by a qualified and insured Run Leader.

Lets Walk Market Bosworth

Lets Walk Market Bosworth

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader.

Let's Walk Groby

Let's Walk Groby

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader

Team Anstey (AAR) Beginners C2K

Team Anstey (AAR) Beginners C2K

Beginner friendly running group, led by a qualified and insured Run Leader.

Watermead Mammoth Runners

Watermead Mammoth Runners

Beginner friendly running group, led by a qualified and insured Run Leader.

Birstall Running Club

Birstall Running Club

Beginner friendly running group, led by a qualified and insured Run Leader.

Birstall Running Club

Birstall Running Club

Beginner friendly running group, led by a qualified and insured Run Leader.

Healthy Mums Online Autumn 2

Healthy Mums Online Autumn 2

A free 6 week online programme where you can learn and share ideas on making healthy choices for you and your little one, and try new activities with other pregnant women and new mums.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

Connect Mental Health are offering Mental Health First Aid Courses at a heavily discounted rate (due to extended funding) that are accredited through MHFA England. Courses are available both online and face to face (when restrictions allow) and range from £35pp for the MH Aware course to £85pp for the full MHFAider Adults course.