Sport and physical activities

Exercise is good for our physical health, but it can have a noticeable effect on our mental health too.  

Regular exercise can help reduce negative feelings such as depression, tension, confusion and fatigue. Benefits can include increased self-confidence and improved self-esteem. Starting exercise can produce a real mental boost, doing something you didn’t necessarily think you’d be able to. That gives you a self-confidence that transfers into other aspects of life, and can feed into your self esteem and self perceptions, which is very important for your mental health.

The physical benefits of regular exercise of course can help weight managing, sleep patterns and help to maintain strong bones, particularly in adolescents. It can also lower stress levels, and can maintain good heart health. 

Fatigue can be a real barrier. You might feel worn out, but you might just be experiencing mental fatigue. If you do go out and even gently exercise, you’ll find you’re invigorated and it will give you more energy. Exercise can relieve tiredness.

For people who haven’t exercised for some time – or if at all – they don’t think of themselves as someone who exercises or a sporty person. But there are so many ways of being active; it’s just a case of finding something you enjoy. As well as walking, it could be swimming, tennis or badminton; it might be cycling, aqua aerobics or spinning. There are so many sports available to us now.

Often people don’t want to exercise because they think that its hard work or they start out and feel it's too hard and so they give up. It is much better to start slowly and build up gradually. You will improve gradually until you feel you can do more and you forget it was hard in the beginning.