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Physical activity and Mental Health

physical activity mental health

We all know that exercise is vital for a healthy body, but regular physical activity is just as important for a healthy mind. Exercise lifts your mood (especially aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, running and cycling or resistance training) and people who are inactive are up to twice as likely to have depressive symptoms, than active people. 

Exercise & mental health conditions

Physical activity not only appears to reduce the symptoms and frequency of depression but, better still, reduces the risk of becoming depressed at all.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, physical activity is effective in the treatment of clinical depression and can be just as successful as psychotherapy or medication, particularly in the longer term. It may also help people with generalised anxiety disorder, phobias, panic attacks and stress disorders, and can have a positive effect on the psychological well-being of people living with schizophrenia.

Physical activity can:

  • improve self-esteem
  • give you a sense of control over life
  • introduce a feeling of personal achievement
  • help with weight control, which can help you feel better about yourself
  • provide opportunities for socialising and meeting new friends. 

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