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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.

Benefits

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.

Involvement

Quick tips for being more active - Watch the video for five ways to get moving and feel better.

Find Mental Health Activities Near You

Use the search below to find local activities near you.

Better Health

Sat, 01 Aug 2020

Make Inside Feel Better.

Every Mind Matters

Tue, 01 Sep 2020

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more.

One You

Thu, 01 Oct 2020

Being healthier is not just about doing the right thing – it's about making changes to fit your lifestyle and make you feel good.

We Are Undefeatable

Thu, 29 Aug 2019

When you’re managing a long term health condition, being active is about finding what works for you.

Active 10 App

The Active 10 app records every minute of walking you do (anonymously). Just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go!

Couch to 5K

Get off the couch and running 5K in just 9 weeks. Grab your trainers and follow the step-by-step audio instructions.

Get Set to Go

Get Set to Go helps people find the physical activity that's right for them so that they are able to enjoy the physical, social and mental benefits of being active.

National Governing Bodies

MIND

Contact Name
MIND
Contact Email
contact@mind.org.uk
Contact Telephone
020 8519 2122
Nordic Walk Devon

Nordic Walk Devon

Nordic Walking Devon provides training and weekly leisure and fitness walks in the South Devon area. All levels of fitness welcome.

Fair To Middling

Fair To Middling

Sponsored by SIGG SWITZERLAND WATER BOTTLES, MTB Strapon, Dartmoor Cycle Workshop & Shadow Security. Based in Exeter and and a British Cycling affiliated club.

Riding, racing, coaching, socialising and mostly, laughing.

Budleigh Health & Wellbeing Hub

Budleigh Health & Wellbeing Hub

The building provides a space within which all services in and around the hub can work together towards one common purpose: to improve and maintain health and wellbeing for all.

Grand Western Canal Country Park

Grand Western Canal Country Park

The Grand Western Canal Country Park and Local Nature Reserve meanders for 11¼ miles through beautiful countryside and quiet villages between the market town of Tiverton and the hamlet of Lowdwells.

- Horse drawn barge
- Cafés
- Play park
- Visito

Langaford Farm Charitable Trust

Langaford Farm Charitable Trust

Langaford Farm Charitable Trust conserves a 100 acre Dartmoor farm. The trusts work can be divided into the following areas Education, Recovery and Science.

Personal Best Health and Fitness

Personal Best Health and Fitness

Fully qualified, REPS insured female personal trainer based in Mid-Devon. Specialising in women's health & fitness. One-to-one personal training sessions to help you reach your health & fitness goals available from Uffculme studio or as a mobile service

A kind of magic animal centre CIC

A kind of magic animal centre CIC

We open our small holding to local community members to help them improve their social, emotional and physical well-being through time spent in peaceful countryside. We offer activities ie, gardening, animal care, DIY projects, arts and crafts.

SHINE ON SAL.

SHINE ON SAL.

Naturally healthy groundingDownload Profile (PDF)About
Naturally healthy fully qualified trainer delivering grounding breathwork and gentle stretching across Devon to 50 +Grounding

Earthing is the practice of connecting to the Earth, either by walking

Torbay Community Development Trust

Torbay Community Development Trust

Working with over 100 voluntary organisations, The Torbay Community Development Trust creates better communication across the Bay, actively encouraging local involvement and decision making in improving the region, as well as developing and supporting vol

Social Netball (Back to Netball)

🔴 Social Netball (Back to Netball)

Social Netball is in partnership with England Netball providing opportunities for women of all abilities and experiences to get active and socialise on the netball court!

Nordic Walk - Meander (Slower Pace) -  Mincinglake Valley Park

Nordic Walk - Meander (Slower Pace) - Mincinglake Valley Park

Join us for a Nordic walk through the park, using your Nordic walking technique to enhance your natural walking style. Great views, hills to climb, moving more in natures gym. Small group walks in our local green spaces.

ReadySteadyWalk - Walking for fitness at Haldon Forest Park

ReadySteadyWalk - Walking for fitness at Haldon Forest Park

A walking group for those with low or no current fitness. Friendly and supportive atmosphere, led walks for 8 weeks.

Beginners Forest Functional Fitness - Haldon Forest Park

Beginners Forest Functional Fitness - Haldon Forest Park

A friendly and supportive 12 week course for those aged over 55, developing core strength, balance and cardio fitness in a stunning woodland setting.

Beginners cycling - Haldon Forest Park

Beginners cycling - Haldon Forest Park

A friendly 8 week course for cycling beginners to get you back out on those bikes and into regular exercise.

Outdoor Yoga in South Brent

Outdoor Yoga in South Brent

A 1.25 hour session to strengthen, flex, relax, breathe & feel calm

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

Connect Mental Health are offering Mental Health First Aid Courses at a heavily discounted rate (due to extended funding) that are accredited through MHFA England. Courses are available both online and face to face (when restrictions allow) and range from £35pp for the MH Aware course to £85pp for the full MHFAider Adults course.

Delivering Quality in Devon