Movement For Mental Health

We ALL have mental health, yet we only tend to talk about it when someone is experiencing an illness or is going through a difficult time. In reality, we should be talking about mental health through the good and the bad, as it is important that we nourish our mental health at all times, just as we would our physical health.

This year for mental health awareness week, their theme is ‘Move for Mental Healh’ in an attempt to encourage people to exercise and move more as this can be very beneficial to our mental health.

Many people often find the thought of exercise daunting; but there are many levels of movement that can benefit your mental health and there is something for everyone!
Walking, yoga classes, stretches, exercises you can do from your chair, running, playing a sport, going to the gym, dancing and so much more.

Benefits of Moving for Mental Health:

  • Improves mood
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Lower inflammation
  • Improve memory
  • Improve concentration
  • Improve self confidence
  • Improve sleep
  • Increase social connectedness

Technology’s Impact on Moving…

While technology advancements have definitely brought many conveniences, they have also brought some consequences.
With all of the technology available to us these days, we can work, engage in hobbies and see friend and family all from the comfort of our own sofa. Without the necessity to move, people are not finding it hard to do the minimum amount of movement set by the World Health Organisation per week (150-minutes / approximately 20 minutes per day!)

Tips to Get Moving:

  • Find moments for movement throughout your day. Nothing too crazy, it does not need to be a consecutive hour of exercise, just little snippets in between your day-to-day tasks. For example, think about how much time you waste each day just waiting around for things… waiting for the kettle to boil, waiting for a parcel, waiting for the kids to come home from school… why not utilise this time? Do some stretches, march on the spot, dance it out! These little moments will add up and so will your movements!
  • Set small achievable goals – Move for 5 mins, then 10, then 15 and so on! Keep a movement journal to log your progression, create a reward system for when you reach certain milestones! Make it enjoyable.
  • Take breaks from sitting down – especially when working an office job! Set reminders on your phone or smart watch to take regular breaks to stand up and stretch.
  • Find the fun in movement – Channel your inner child! Remember when you were a kid and you would hear the school bell for playtime and you would be so excited to run outside and play? Let’s bring that back! Play tag with friends and family, play a fun sport, race one another in the park, ask your kids to teach you the games that they play these days and vice versa. Moving does not have to feel like a chore.
  • Use it to connect with others – Book classes with friends, join a walking group or team sport.
  • Bonus point for outdoor exercise! Nature brings extra benefits to your mental health, so get outside, whatever the weather and get moving!

Did you know that moving for just 15-minutes per day can positively impact your mental health?

Let us know in the comments how you are going to get moving for mental health!

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