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.
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Physical activity, sport and mental health [Internet]. Mind. 2017 [cited 16 October 2017]. Available from: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/physical-activity-sport-and-exercise/#.WdTj7GeWyUk
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: http://www.cochrane.org/CD003683/BEHAV_exercise-to-improve-self-esteem-in-children-and-young-people
Edmunds S, Briggs H, Goldie I. Let’s Get Physical [Internet]. Mental Health Foundation. 2013 [cited 16 October 2017]. Available from: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/lets-get-physical-report.pdf