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Mental Health

It's well known that regular exercise is good for our bodies – and there's good evidence that it can help improve our mental wellbeing too.

An Overview of Mental Health

Mental health affects how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Mental health services in England deal with a wide range of issues, such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety disorders, including panic attacksand phobias
  • psychosis conditions
  • obsessive compulsive disorders
  • eating disorders
  • trauma-related conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
  • perinatal mental health conditions
  • children's mental health conditions
  • drugs and alcohol services
  • ADHD and autism spectrum conditions
  • dementia
  • mental health conditions related to living with long-term conditions

This means mental health services have to be able to cater for people from all walks of life and with very different needs. Mental health services in England are generally run in the following categories:

  • adult services
  • child and adolescent services
  • forensic services
  • learning disability services
  • older adult's services
  • substance misuse services

How these services are organised in each local area may differ. This means some may not cover all mental health conditions, or only deal with people of a certain age.

A Guide to UK-based Free Mental Health Helplines by Cassiobury Court.

Benefits

Mood: when asked to rate their mood immediately after periods of physical activity (going for a walk, doing housework) and periods of inactivity (reading a book, watching television), participants felt more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active.When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (or 'feel good' hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood.

Stress: when events occur that make us feel threatened or upset, our body's defences cut in and create a stress response, which may make us feel a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms. These symptoms are triggered by a rush of stress hormones – the fight or flight response. Adrenaline and noradrenaline raise our blood pressure, increase our heart rate and increase the rate at which we perspire. This causes us to feel stress. Physical activity is a good output for relieving these symptoms and consequently relieving stress.

Self-esteem: how we feel about ourselves and how we perceive our self-worth is a key indicator of our mental wellbeing and our ability to cope with life stressors. Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence on our self-esteem and self-worth. When you start to see your fitness levels increase and your body improve, it can give your self-esteem a big boost. The sense of achievement you get from learning new skills and achieving your goals can help you feel better about yourself and lift your mood.

Depression and anxiety: physical activity is increasingly used as an alternative treatment for depression. It can also reduce levels of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and may also be helpful for treating clinical anxiety.One study has found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by almost 20%.

Social and Emotional Benefits: being around other people is good for our mental health and social networks, plus you can maximise the benefits of exercising by doing it with other people. Lots of us enjoy being active because it's fun. Researchers have shown that there's a link between the things we enjoy doing and improvements in our wellbeing overall.

Don't forget the physical benefits too. Being physically active can reduce your risk of some diseases, improve the health of your organs and bones, help you to maintain a healthy weight and give you more energy.

Involvement

Quick tips for being more active - Watch the video for five ways to get moving and feel better.

Find Mental Health Activities Near You

Use the search below to find local activities near you.

Active 10 App

The Active 10 app records every minute of walking you do (anonymously). Just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go!

Couch to 5K

Get off the couch and running 5K in just 9 weeks. Grab your trainers and follow the step-by-step audio instructions.

Get Set to Go

Get Set to Go helps people find the physical activity that's right for them so that they are able to enjoy the physical, social and mental benefits of being active.

National Governing Bodies

MIND

Contact Name
MIND
Contact Email
contact@mind.org.uk
Contact Telephone
020 8519 2122
Supporting Independence Programme

Supporting Independence Programme

Have you noticed any recent changes in your health, or needed to make changes to your life?
Are you struggling to manage a health condition or your general wellbeing?
Do you sometimes lack motivation, feel lonely or isolated?

Go Kan Ryu Karate

Go Kan Ryu Karate

Karate is the ideal sport for kids for building self-confidence, balance, co-ordination, discipline and courtesy, while learning basic self-defence skills.

The Breathe In Space

The Breathe In Space

The Breathe In Space is your local wellness centre that boasts an array of interventions.

Northamptonshire Trampoline Gymnastics Academy

Northamptonshire Trampoline Gymnastics Academy

Established in 1977, NTGA is proud to be affiliated to British Gymnastics, with GymMark and Sport England ClubMark status.

NTGA runs classes for all ages and abilities, from pre-school, recreational, improvers, additional needs to a complete competitiv

The Frank Bruno Foundation

The Frank Bruno Foundation

The aim is to bring healthy-body and healthy mind approaches together to provide a holistic and enjoyable approach to supporting all clients with mental ill health.
This may help:
• Increase self-confidence
• Improve self-regulation
• Develop

Walking Football Moulton (Northampton)

Walking Football Moulton (Northampton)

Three weekly sessions for over 50s: Mondays 7-8pm , Tuesday & Fridays 10-11am. Check meeting time with Phil Andrews before turning up. No spectators allowed during Covid. More sessions added in summer.
Ideal if unable play football anywhere else due to i

dancepod

dancepod

Fun and friendly Ballroom and Latin American Dance Club for all ages and abilities...beginner to competitor!

Group and private sessions available.

Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club

Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club

Rugby & Northampton AC is an all-age, all-ability club, promoting recreational and competitive athletics within the community. If you are interested in track and field, cross country, road running - or just fitness - we could be just what you are after.

The Cube Disability Academy

The Cube Disability Academy

We provide a fun and modern care service for adults with learning disabilities and autism. We run sporting in activities in a variety of sports across Northamptonshire.

Adventure Geek Walking Club

Adventure Geek Walking Club

Adventure Geek provides both guided and self guided walks in Northamptonshire, 3-4 times a week. Evening and daytime walks. In addition, we organise other adventures such as Snowdon, Hadrian's Wall, Cotswolds, Peak District etc.

Our goal is to get pe

Walking Netball, Rushden

Walking Netball, Rushden

Walking Netball restarts on Tuesday 7 Sept, 11-12 in Rushden

Harborough Athletics Club

Harborough Athletics Club

Beginner friendly running group, led by a qualified and insured Run Leader.

Market Harborough Parkrun

Market Harborough Parkrun

A free, fun, and friendly weekly 5k community event. Walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate – it's up to you!

Lutterworth Walking Group

Lutterworth Walking Group

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader.

Fleckney & Kibworth RC Beginners C25K

Fleckney & Kibworth RC Beginners C25K

Friendly running group, led by a qualified and insured Run Leader.

Walk Together Bouskell Park

Walk Together Bouskell Park

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader.

Wednesday Western Park Walkout

Wednesday Western Park Walkout

This evening walk will give those who work during the day the chance to get some exercise and a bit of fresh air with a group of like-minded individuals. Sticking to pavements, we will walk around the perimeter of Leicester's Western Park, making sure that we increase the pace to raise the heart rate and get those muscles moving. If you have been stuck behind a desk all day or rushed off your feet at work, this is just the walk you need to release the tension and improve your fitness and wellbeing.

Walk Together Glen Parva

Walk Together Glen Parva

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader.

Walk Together Stoney Stanton

Walk Together Stoney Stanton

Beginner friendly walking group, led by an insured and trained Walk Leader.

Walking Football Session

Walking Football Session

Walking Football 60+

More Results
Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun

Desborough Green Space Junior parkrun is a free weekly 2k event for children aged 4-14 years of age.

Revive Sports Mentor - South Somerset Area

We are looking to recruit a compassionate individual with a desire to positively support adults who are or have previously been experiencing drug/alcohol addiction issues and or mental health challenges.

The Revive project uses physical activity to provide participants with a chance to be active, socialise in fresh environments and meet new people.