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There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body; having a healthy heart and improving your joints and bones are just two, but did you know that physical activity is also beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing?

We would go as far as saying physical activity is fundamental for your wellbeing

We need to change the way we view physical activity in the UK in order not to see it as something we ‘have to do’, ‘should do’ or ‘ought to do’ for our health, but as something that we do because we personally value its positive benefits to our wellbeing.

What Is Wellbeing?

  • The sense of feeling good about ourselves and being able to function well individually or in relationships
  • The ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, such as coping with challenges and making the most of opportunities
  • The feeling of connection to our community and surroundings
  • Having control and freedom over our lives
  • Having a sense of purpose and feeling valued

Of course, mental wellbeing does not mean being happy all the time, and it does not mean that you won’t experience negative or painful emotions, such as grief, loss, or failure, which are a part of normal life. However, whatever your age, being physically active can help you to lead a mentally healthier life and can improve your wellbeing.

The Impact of Exercise on Wellbeing

Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood.

Participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. 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.

Impact On Our Lives

  • Physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on our mood
  • Physical exercise can be very effective in relieving stress. Research on employed adults has found that highly active individuals tend to have lower stress rates compared to individuals who are less active.
  • Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-worth. This relationship has been found in children, adolescents, young adults, adults and older people, and across both males and females
  • Physical activity has been identified as a protective factor in studies that examined risk factors for dementia. For people who have already developed the disease, physical activity can help to delay further decline in functioning.
  • Physical activity can reduce levels of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and may also be helpful for treating clinical anxiety.

Where Do You Start?

Once you have decided that you want to be more physically active, there are a few points worth thinking about. Apart from improving your physical and mental wellbeing, what else do you want to get out of being active?

Ask yourself whether you’d prefer doing a group or individual activity. Also, would you rather go it alone or do an activity with a friend? Social support is a great motivator, and sharing your experiences, goals and achievements will help you to keep focus and enthusiasm. At SPC we have both personal and group training services to offer a range of different people and their own needs.

Overcoming Barriers

It can be a bit scary making changes to your life, and most people get anxious about trying something new. Some common barriers, such as cost, injury or illness, lack of energy, fear of failure, or even the weather can hinder people from getting started; however, practical and emotional support from friends, family and experts really does help.

  • If physical activity is new to you, it’s best to build up your ability gradually.
  • It’s really important to set goals to measure progress, which might motivate you.
  • Adopting a more active lifestyle can be as simple as doing daily tasks more energetically or making small changes to your routine, such as walking up a flight of stairs.
  • What time do you have available for exercise? You may need to rejig commitments to make room for extra activities, or choose something that fits into your busy schedule, like personal training.

Want to train with the best personal trainers in West Sussex and get a taste of the real SPC training experience? Contact us today to find out how we can help you .

This post was taken from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise