The importance of sport and exercise on mental health

Taking part in sport is not only beneficial for fitness and well-being, it also has a positive impact on mental health. Read all about the benefits of sport and exercise on mental health below:

1. Reduces Stress

Sport and exercise can help take your mind off of a stressful lifestyle, as it helps to focus your energy on something positive rather than the often-negative parts of day-to-day life. Taking time out of your busy schedule to exercise can really help to eliminate high stress levels. Research has proven that working adults who regularly exercise are less stressed in their jobs, than those who are less active.

2. Improves Mood

Having an active lifestyle and taking part in exercise can help to improve your mood. You will be less sluggish, less tired and more likely to have a brighter and happier mood.

3. Social Interaction

Being a part of a sports team means you will socialise with new and different people. Even if you aren't part of a sports team, even going to the gym and socialising with new people will help your mental health. Being a part of something can not only improve on social interaction but can help lift self-esteem and anxiety.

4. Depression & Anxiety

Many GP's have proven that exercise and physically activity can help the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and often advise anyone with symptoms of depression/anxiety to be more active for both the mind and body.

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Bradford City Players with the MIND Charity logo on their football shirts

Although being active has a positive impact on mental health, sometimes life can be too much, so always talk to a member of family or a close friend about how you are feeling.

If you feel anxious or depressed and need to talk to somebody, here are a few mental health helplines:

Anxiety UK – 03444 775 775 (Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:30pm) www.anxietyuk.org.uk

CALM – 0800 58 58 58 (Daily, 5pm – Midnight) www.thecalmzone.net

Mind – 0300 123 3393 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm) www.mind.org.uk

Samaritans - 116 123 (Monday - Sunday 24hrs a day) https://www.samaritans.org/