Exercise and Mental Health
3 June 2019
Outdoor activities can help to reduce stress, depression, anxiety and can even help to improve your sleep. It promoted the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain and you can get together with friends or join a group to make new ones.
There are a range of groups you can join for different activities around town and include salsa or swing dancing, meditation groups, yoga and many other choices depending on your interests.
Beyond Blue has six tips that might help:
- Find your reason: You’re more likely to stick to a new habit if it’s linked to something you really value in life. Figure out the answer to ‘why will exercise make my life better?’. It might be to help manage depression or to get more energy to keep up with your kids.
- Start Small: You don’t have to jump into a 5km run straight away! You can start off by walking the length of your street and then expand out from there.
- Make it part of your routine: Timetable your exercise into your weekly schedule, that way it will fit into your life easier.
- Do something you enjoy: Exercise doesn’t have to be serious. If you hate running or going to the gym, find an activity you enjoy (or at least don’t dislike?) and you’re more likely to keep doing it.
- Set goals and monitor progress: It’s very rewarding to track your progress. This doesn’t have to be towards weight loss – it can be a few extra kilometres or a landmark. Something that will help make each exercise session feel purposeful.
- Make a commitment to others: You’re less likely to opt out if you have a friend or team relying on you. You can join a walking group or a yoga class to achieve this and it’s a great push to start.
Most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself!
If you’re looking for a place to start, attached to this is a map of dedicated shared paths around town that is available to everyone!