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Boost Your Mood with Movement

Blog Post | 20 May 2024

Boost Your Mood with Movement: The Natural Way to Enhance Mental Health

Movement is a natural mood booster. Our bodies release feel-good hormones when we’re active that can reduce anxiety and stress and help us sleep better. Physical activity has been widely recognised for its benefits on mental health, making it an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.

As a founding partner of the Better Health Every Mind Matters campaign, we recommend taking a look at their range of free, NHS-evidenced support, where you can learn more about the mental health benefits of physical activity and ways to get moving for all ages and levels of ability Better Health Every Mind Matters.

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The Science Behind Exercise and Mental Health

When you engage in physical activity, your brain releases endorphins, which are chemicals that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. According to the NHS, regular exercise can improve your self-esteem, help with concentration, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also plays a crucial role in improving sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression, and anxiety.

How Physical Activity Reduces Stress

Physical activity helps reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. At the same time, it stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. The NHS points out that even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases mental alertness, energy, and positive mood states .

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Getting Started: Tips For All Ages And Abilities

It’s never too late to start incorporating more movement into your daily routine. The key is to find activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Start Small: Begin with short sessions of physical activity and gradually increase the duration and intensity.
  2. Choose Activities You Enjoy: Whether it’s dancing, swimming, cycling, or simply walking, finding something you enjoy will help you stick with it.
  3. Make it Social: Join a class, team, or group to make physical activity more enjoyable and to meet new people.
  4. Set Realistic Goals: Setting achievable goals can help keep you motivated and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Resources For Further Support

For more information on how to integrate physical activity into your life for better mental health, visit the Better Health Every Mind Matters campaign. They offer a range of free resources and evidence-based support to help you get moving, no matter your age or ability.

You can also explore the following resources for additional insights and tips:

  • NHS: Provides detailed guidance on the benefits of physical activity and practical advice on getting started.
  • Mind: A mental health charity offering support and information on how exercise can improve your mental well-being.

 

By incorporating more movement into your daily routine, you can take a significant step towards improving your mental health and overall well-being. Remember, every little bit counts, and the journey to better health can start with just a few minutes of activity each day.