Sport & Exercise

Being active and your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Regular exercise is key to maintaining physical and mental wellbeing.

Mental health is a key aspect of wellbeing allowing individuals to carry out everyday tasks and to decrease their risk of developing physical health problems in later life1. Mental wellbeing is complex and reflects many aspects including self-confidence, response to stress and anxiety levels. Physical activity can help:

  • Improve self-esteem: Taking part in physical activity can be rewarding as it allows you to set personal goals or learn new skills. Working towards these goals can offer a sense of achievement and boost self-confidence.2
  • Create a support network: Being at university is often the first experience of living independently. Through engaging in physical activity there is the opportunity to meet others with similar interests and share the experience of being a student.
  • Improve sleep quality: Sleep can have a significant effect on mood and the ability concrete. It has been suggested leading an active lifestyle can make it easier to fall asleep and reduce pre-sleep anxiety.3
  • Reduce the impact of stress: Physical activity offers an output for tension and provides the opportunity to break up stressful tasks.
  • Individuals feel happier: Taking part in physical activity naturally causes the release of endorphins which provides a pickup in mood.


How I boost my mood

Find out how some other University of Edinburgh students use being active to boost their mood

30 day Student Membership

Boost Your Mood with our 30 Day Membership
Need a Boost until the end of the Semester? Our 30 day BYM at the GYM membership is available until 26/11/17

Pilates Taster Sessions

Pilates Taster Sessions
Enjoy a 30 minute taster experience of the "Reformer" and the "Tower" - some of the original equipment used by Joseph Pilates.
  1. Physical activity, sport and mental health [Internet]. Mind. 2017 [cited 16 October 2017]. Available from:
  2. Ekeland E, Heian F, Hagen K, Abbott J, Nordheim L. Exercise to improve self-esteem in children and young people [Internet]. Cochrane. 2004 [cited 16 October 2017]. Available from:
  3. Edmunds S, Briggs H, Goldie I. Let’s Get Physical [Internet]. Mental Health Foundation. 2013 [cited 16 October 2017]. Available from: