These days everyone knows that exercise is good for your body but studies have also shown that keeping active can also really improve your mental health.
When you exercise your brain releases “feel good” chemicals that act as natural antidepressants and improve your overall mood. In fact, some studies have shown that for mild depression taking part in regular physical activity can be as effective as taking prescription antidepressants.
Regular exercise can be particularly important during times of stress such as exam periods, house moves, or starting a new job. Government guidelines state that we should all be doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days per week.
But don’t worry, that isn’t as hard as it sounds and you need to become the next Mo Farrah to have good mental health.
Here are our top tips to help you get your 30 minutes of exercise:
- Take your dog for a walk or borrow a friend’s dog if you don’t have one
- Go for a walk – we’re lucky to live in the New Forest so there are plenty of places to walk
- Get off the college bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way
- Do an exercise DVD with your friends – the celebrity DVDs can be fun as well as good exercise
- Go cycling or skate boarding with your mates
- Start doing yoga – once you’ve got the basics it’s a good work out!
- Break it down into 2x 15 minute sessions if a full 30 minutes is too much
- Stay hydrated – carry water or squash in case you get thirsty
- If you’re going to start running etc., invest in a well-fitting pair of trainers
- Exercise with a friend or family member if you don’t fancy doing it by yourself
You don’t even have to go outside to get in your 30 minutes a day. There are plenty of great exercises you can do at home. You could even jog around your garden or do sit ups in the lounge!