Looking for ways to improve your physical activity?

Physical activity can have a profound effect on our mental wellbeing, mood and physical health. That’s why it’s so important we dedicate time to it. If you don’t know where to get started, we’ve got a range of ideas and advice that will help you build a sustainable exercise routine and lifestyle. 

How does physical health influence our mental wellbeing?

Staying physically active is one of the best choices you can make for your mental wellbeing. Many studies have shown regular exercise promotes better sleep, has a positive impact on mood and helps you to manage stress, anxiety and intrusive thoughts you might be experiencing.

What can I do to increase my physical activity?

If you want to increase your physical activity, it’s important you find a practice that is enjoyable and sustainable. A practice you can commit to making a part of your routine, even if it’s only for 10 minutes a day.

There are plenty of options you can try, including pilates, yoga, running, dancing, weightlifting, and swimming. There are plenty of opportunities for you to increase your physical activity throughout the day too – try taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking places instead of driving.

What can I do if I find it difficult to engage in exercise?

  • Start off slowly and set small but achievable goals; for example, you can start by increasing your daily steps by 200 steps a day.

  • Take part in activities you enjoy and want to do. If you’re forcing yourself to partake in an activity you don’t enjoy, it won’t become a sustainable practice.

What can I do if I cannot afford a gym membership or exercise classes?

  • If you have been diagnosed with mild or moderate depression or have a chronic health condition, you may be eligible for exercise on prescription. Your GP will refer you to a physical activity programme, which usually takes place at your local leisure centre.
  • Find any opportunity to keep yourself moving. Instead of taking the bus, try walking; find a physical activity you can do with someone; YouTube has plenty of free workouts you can also practice from your home.
  • Couch to 5k is a brilliant way to start running. It’s a free app consisting of 9 weeks’ worth of podcasts and 3 guided runs a week. It gradually and steadily gets you to running a full 5k, even if you’ve never run before.

Would you like to talk to someone?