Today, Wednesday 10th October, is officially World Mental Health Day. Although the focus point this year is ‘Young people and mental health in the changing world’, mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. This day gives the opportunity for people to express their support and to raise awareness.

Mental health is just like our physical health – everybody needs to take care of it and know how to look after it. To pay tribute to this we thought we would include a post regarding 5 benefits that exercise and fitness can have on mental health and general wellbeing.

Reducing anxiety and encouraging positive moods.
When exercising, your body releases endorphins, or otherwise known as ‘feel good’ hormones, this can encourage more positive moods and can aid to reduce anxiety due to the change in brain chemistry.

Improving self confidence.
Working out and striving to be healthier can be a great way to help to boost your confidence, not only can it help you feel better within yourself but also seeing your body change and adapt can give you a a little lift of self-esteem.

A deserved sense of calm.
As people we are all so busy whether it be with work or general day-to-day life. Sometimes taking a bit of time to exercise, even as simple as a morning or evening stroll, can give you some space and a break from hectic routines. Some people find that exercise can help to break up racing thoughts, also as your body tires so may your mind – leaving you feeling calmer and able to think more clearly. Yoga and Pilates are generally popular choices for those who want to exercise but in a more calm and peaceful way.

A sense of achievement.
If you set yourself goals or targets whether it be during your favourite fitness class or simply your morning swim, you could gain a sense of strive to reach these and also a sense of achievement when you beat them. Aim to set yourself targets to experience the satisfaction and boost it could give you. Learning new skills or developing on existing ones can also help you to feel a sense of achievement and triumph!

Reduce stress.
No matter what your age, we all experience stress. Some people find that exercising can help to reduce this, but it’s just a matter of finding out which type of exercise works best for you. Whether it be a fun, high energy class such as Zumba, Insanity, Body Combat or Body Attack which can tire the body or help to relieve any built up tension! Or a more peaceful and harmonious class such as Body Balance. Some even find that a water based activity such as Aqua or Waterworks can give them a sense of weightlessness, which can help to soothe any thoughts that are weighing them down.

Take care and more importantly, invest in yourself! 

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