Physical Activity and Your Mental Health
With the Winter Olympics in full swing, everyone has caught the sporting bug. Physical fitness is not only a great way to keep your body physically healthy, but it’s also attributed to helping improve your mental health and overall well-being.
We caught up with Divisional Manager, Jill Summers, to discuss this further.
Is it true what they say that physical health promotes good mental health?
“Yes, I believe so. Physical activity is a natural mood lifter. It helps relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. Exercise releases endorphins which give you the ‘feel-good’ factor. Any form of aerobic exercise will release serotonin and other endorphins.”
How can physical activity help me with my mental health?
“Physical activity is effective in reducing stress and fatigue in addition to improving alertness and concentration. It also enhances your overall cognitive function. This is especially helpful when you feel your energy has depleted or are lacking the ability to concentrate.”
What sort of activity would you recommend doing at home?
“There is lots of information online with different activities that can be done at home. Getting active is easier if you choose something you enjoy. This could be something like Yoga or Zumba; there are lots of free groups online so you can join others.”
What sort of activity would you recommend doing when out and about?
“Walking is a great form of exercise and there are lots of walking groups in most areas. If fit enough there are running groups too. Swimming is a great all-rounder as well.”
What things should I take into consideration before undertaking a physical activity?
“Before starting any exercise, you should check with your GP that you are able to do it. Also start slowly and build up your exercises. Never do anything to hurt yourself. Prioritise getting good quality sleep. You should also ask yourself these three questions:
Should I see a doctor before I start an exercise programme?
Should I get my heart check-up before I start?
What should I do before and after exercises? (Warm up and down etc)”