1. Skip to content
Mental Health Banner
Mental Health Icon

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.

MIND's online community, Elefriends is a great place for people to find support from people with mental health problems who are using sport to stay well.

Find Mental Health Activities Near You

Use the search below to find local activities near you.

National Parks Week: 22-29 July

Tue, 23 Jul 2019

National Parks Week is the National Parks family's annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about our 15 National Parks - Britain's breathing spaces.

National Stress Awareness Month

Mon, 01 Apr 2019

April marks the start of National Stress Awareness Month! What are your plans?

World Health Day: 7 April

Mon, 01 Apr 2019

WHO use the anniversary of their founding day not only as an opportunity to celebrate the organization and its work but also as an opportunity to highlight a current global health priority.

Active10

Exercise...made easy. Did you know that walking briskly for just 10 continuous minutes counts as exercise?

Couch to 5K

The One You Couch to 5k app has been designed to get you off the couch and running in just 9 weeks.

One You

Modern life makes it hard to be healthy. The good news is we can fight back. One You is here to help you get back to a healthier you.

National Governing Bodies

MIND

Contact Name
MIND
Contact Email
contact@mind.org.uk
Contact Telephone
020 8519 2122

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

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

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

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/

PfP Leisure

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