6 Exercise Ideas To Boost Your Mental Health

AD| Many people find that exercise and other physical activities helps them maintain a positive mental health. This doesn't mean you need to be running marathons daily, spending every day at the gym or doing any activity that you absolutely hate. 

There are lots of different exercises and activities you can do to be more active and better your lifestyleIt's important that you are choosing an activity that works for you and for your lifestyle. Having something you actually enjoy will definitely help boost you mood and mental state, as well as having something to look forward to and help you stay fit.

Running is an exercise good for both your physical health and mental health. One of the best and most common psychological benefits of running is stress relief. Endorphins and serotonin are released in your body through exercise, and these hormones are those that improve your mood as well as helping to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. Going for a run of any length, whether that be a few laps round the local park or a marathon, gives you time to think about your feelings or problems, get some much needed fresh air and to escape reality for a while. This form of exercise can also improve a person’s self-esteem, as well as helping you to feel rewarded and a sense of accomplishment.

For those who want something relaxing, calming and an exercise with lower body impact, yoga and meditation might be worth a go. Practising yoga can help to increase body awareness, relieve stress, reduce muscle tension/strain, and calms the nervous system. Yoga may be beneficial for those who find exercise hard, strenuous or difficult, as its a slower pace activity with easier, low impact  movements. Yoga has so many incredible benefits, it would be silly not to try it. 

Boxing style workouts using a punchbag are great for working out your entire body. Constant movements can help keep you agile, flexible and mobile. Boxing is a sport that can help teach you how to control/manage your anger, to stay focused and keep alert. As well as this, boxing is a great activity for relieving any stress or tension that builds up in our bodies.


Horse Riding is the perfect outdoor activity for those who loves to get some fresh air and are also extremely fond of animals. Horses specifically. Horse riding is definitely renowned for its benefits to our physical health, as well as helping to lower stress levels and improve your confidence. The study completed by The BHS concluded that "horseback riding stimulated mainly positive psychological feelings, with reducing depression by 30% as well as lowering the chance of dementia by 30%"Researching your local stables or horse riding centre might be worth a look at if you're keen on getting started with horse riding as a new hobby.

Cycling is a great activity for those who love to get outdoors into the fresh air and exercise at their own pace. Many people take up cycling as a hobby for both physical or mental health reasons including to improve fitness, building muscle or losing weight, as well as clearing their mind and enjoying the environment around us. A survey by Cycleplan found "75% of cyclists noticed an improvement in their mental health since getting on the saddle, with 8% even saying it helped with their depression or anxiety". Cycling can also help improve your social life as well, especially if you go with your friends, or even join a cycling club or class, allowing you to meet new people with similar interests to you.

Finally, swimming. Swimming is such an underrated activity when it comes to stress relief and weight loss. Swimming also allows the body to releases endorphin, that can help us achieve a sense of happiness and wellbeing. The benefits of regular swimming sessions are incredible, not only can this exercise help fight depression, anxiety and improve sleep patterns, but it is also very low impact and easy on your joints, making it a perfect activity for those struggling with their weight or the elderly.

What activities or exercises do you do to improve your mental health? Is there any hobbies that you want to take up?

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