Mental Health and Physical Activity

There’s plenty of evidence that taking part in physical activity can have a profound and positive impact on mental wellbeing. Being physically active can improve mood, decrease the chance of depression and anxiety and lead to a better and more balanced lifestyle.

Even just taking a 10-minute brisk walk can help clear the mind, increase your mental awareness, energy and mood.

There are various ways that physical activity helps mental health, including:

Reduced Stress, Depression and Anxiety

Being regularly active is shown to have a beneficial impact on alleviating stress. It can help manage stressful lifestyles and can help us make better decisions when under pressure. Exercise has been described as a “wonder drug” in preventing and managing mental health. Many GPs now prescribe physical activity for depression, either on its own or together with other treatments.

Improved Mood

Studies show that physical activity has a positive impact on our mood. Researchers found that people felt more awake, calmer and more content after physical activity. For more information about this study, please see the Mental Health Foundation website.

Increased Self-Esteem

Physical activity has a big impact on our self-esteem – that’s how we feel about ourselves and our perceived self-worth. This is essential in the management of borderline personality disorder, where self-esteem and self-worth is a large part of the disorder. Good self-esteem is a key indicator of mental wellbeing. People with improved self-esteem can cope better with stress and improves relationships with others.