How to look after your mental health using exercise

How to look after your mental health using exercise

How do you feel after exercising? Worn out and ready to collapse on the sofa – maybe, but we bet you’re also pretty happy with yourself for giving it a go.


As well as the mood boost, you’ll most likely feel more energised and those problems previously buzzing around your anxious head may not be quite as loud and troublesome as before.


This is not an uncommon effect of being active and is arguably much more beneficial than the one it has on your waistline. If you’re thinking we mean hitting the gym hard or doing an intensive sport, then think again. Physical activity means sitting down less and moving your body more.


Reap the benefits of keeping active


. It will increase your energy levels

. Provide a useful outlet for any bottled up emotions and frustrations

. An opportunity to socialise and make new friends and new experiences

. Improves your sleep (and in turn your mood and health!)

. Gives you a better sense of control over your emotions and self-esteem

. A chance to escape and have some alone time

. Help you think clearly and give you perspective on your problems and anxieties

. Even more of an excuse to enjoy your favourite snack or treat afterwards!


Find your mood-boosting activity

At home

. Do active household chores such as hoovering, tidying and DIY (also feel smug for being getting those chores done!)

. Gardening (then step back and admire the results)

. Play an active video game that requires you to move (it still counts if you’re having fun!)

. Dance in your kitchen to your favourite songs (same goes).

. Do an at home video work out (so many free ones available online)


At work


. Take the stairs at a brisk pace instead of taking the lift

. Go for a walk in your lunch break

. If you usually travel to work by bus, get off one stop early and walk the rest

. Do some simple stretches in your chair

. Use an adjustable desk which allows you to stand





. Walking (Even as little as 10 minutes at a brisk pace is an instant mood booster).

. Be curious, go exploring… climb a tree! Engage with your inner child

. Jogging (find a local group who will help keep you motivated)

. Attend a yoga class (Calm your mind and your body!)

. Release tension with a boxing or HIIT class

. Try wild swimming! Our Co-Founder Leanne is a big fan of this and recently completed a sponsored swim for charity

. Go exploring by bike – whether it’s in the city or countryside, it’s a great way to cover ground, see the sights and keep fit


Fundamentally, the secret is to find an activity or workout that you enjoy, because there’s much more chance you’ll stick with it. Once you’ve done it, take a minute to reflect on how you feel. Has your mood brightened? Are you feeling calmer and are those niggling worries not quite so persistent? Keep at it and you’ll be hooked on the mood boosting benefits, not just the physical results!