How An Active Lifestyle Can Benefit Your Mental Health

An active lifestyle has a lot of benefits. Exercising as part of your regular routine is a vital part of maintaining your cardiovascular health, can help avoid joint and muscle pain and keep your weight at a healthy level. However, did you know that an active lifestyle can benefit your mental wellbeing too?

There are lots of ways that regular activity can contribute to good mental health:

Feel happier
Physical activity releases hormones that boost your mood and make you feel more energetic and alert.

Improve your self-esteem
Getting fitter and meeting your goals can make you feel good about yourself and making progress is great motivation to keep up your good habit.

Reduce your risk of depression
Studies show that regular physical activity can reduce the chances of experiencing a period of depression in your life.

Manage stress
Physical activity of any kind can release cortisol – a hormone that deals which helps us manage stress.

Provides a healthy coping mechanism
When you’re having a bad day, exercising can take your mind away from whatever is worrying you and provide a welcome distraction.

Sleep more
Tiring out your body makes it easier to drift off at the end of the day, and regular sleep is vital for good mental health.

Connecting with people
If you exercise as part of a team or go walking with a friend, socialising has a positive impact. A sports team is also a good place to make friends, as it’s easier to get to know new people when you have a common goal and something to do.

Any amount of activity can work, so while some people might enjoy a high intensity workout with a personal trainer, you’ll still feel the benefits of just going on more regular walks or following an online yoga class.

So, with all these benefits, what can we do to fit more activity into our lives?

There’s the nearby PureGym, located at The Springs, if you’re looking to work out more often or join some classes, or have a look at the local walking routes available in the area for a lunchtime or after-work walk. If that sounds like too much of a time commitment, what about an active commute? Swapping your usual journey (or any part of it) with walking, running or cycling can bring a whole range of benefits.

As part of Health and Wellbeing Week, ParkLife are organising a whole range of free events (both virtual and in-person) that offer a great opportunity to get a bit extra exercise and learn more about the benefits.