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.


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.


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.

Better Health

Sat, 01 Aug 2020

Your health matters. There has never been a better time to kickstart your health.


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 Active 10

Physical inactivity is a major cause of disease and disability for adults in the UK. It negatively impacts the health, social and economic outcomes of individuals and costs the NHS in England millions

National Governing Bodies


Contact Name
Contact Email
Contact Telephone
020 8519 2122

Pingles Leisure Centre

Pingles Leisure Centre in Nuneaton offers a wide range of activities to suit all ages and abilities.

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!


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


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 and ha

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!

Total Fitness Workout

Classes to suit all ages and fitness levels in Killamarsh, Bolsover and Beighton.
The over 50s/beginners low impact classes, chair exercise class, abs, stretch and toning classes, mixed level cardio, toning and stretch class, Zumba classes to suit all ag

Meiyo Karate Club

We teach a self defence orientated style of Karate: Shindo Jinen Ryu. Our website is Our Facebook page is:

PfP Leisure

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

Health Qigong® On-Line Classes At Home using Zoom

Health Qigong® On-Line Classes At Home using Zoom

Come and learn Health Qigong® with me for health & harmony. The philosophy of my classes is tranquility, enrichment and fun!

Mondays 18:00 - 18:45 Breedon Priory Health Club
Mondays 19:00 - 19:45 Beginners
Wednesdays 11:30 - 12:15 Breedon Priory Health Club
Fridays 14:30 - 15:15 Improvers

Tuesdays 11:00 - 12:00 Fizzio-Fit DE5 3QY.
Tuesdays 14:00 - 15:00 Elephant Rooms DE72 3PP.
Wednesdays 18:00 - 19:00 Elephant Rooms DE72 3PP.

Suspended until venues re-open:
Mondays 20:15 - 21:15 Oakwood Community Centre DE21 2RQ.
Thursdays 14:00 - 14:45 Lammas Leisure Centre NG17 2AD.
Fridays 11:00 - 12:00 Horsley Woodhouse Church Hall DE7 6AT.
Fridays 13:15 - 14:15 Oakwood Community Centre DE21 2RQ.

Long Clawson Health Walks

Long Clawson Health Walks

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

Tai Chi Fit

Tai Chi Fit

Gentle, flowing movements suitable for beginners and all fitness levels.

Xercise In The Park

Xercise In The Park

Low Impact but High Intensity exercise for beginners and all fitness levels.

Glen Parva Walking Group

Glen Parva Walking Group

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

Senior Health Walks - Melton

Senior Health Walks - Melton

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

Dynamic Ashtanga Yoga

Dynamic Ashtanga Yoga

Live Virtual Classes!
Helen has been running Live Virtual Classes for over a month now and the response has been fantastic.
The classes are designed to suit everybody with a chance to sweat and flow at pace with a dynamic class on Monday's, and a slower paced restore and relax class on Wednesday's.
Pregnancy Yoga on Sunday evenings is providing support and reassurance in these uncertain times in a chatty, friendly and relaxing class.
All class attendees receive a link to download the class to use at their leisure!