Craig Sanderson: Physical activity and mental health

Published on: 21st August 2020

Many people wince at the thought of exercise in the winter. What you may not realise is that any increase in activity can be exercise. By reading this article you may feel more motivated to start your journey of improved wellbeing.

When you start to struggle with symptoms of depression and stress, you may notice that your activity levels drop. This leads us to a vicious cycle because often, the less you do the worse you feel. So how can you change this?

The UK Chief Medical Officer recommends that you should try and disrupt long periods of sitting by moving around for 1 to 2 minutes. The NHS recommends that regular short breaks are better than fewer long breaks. Start slow, if you usually sit for 2 hours, try and only sit for 1 and get up in the middle for a two-minute walk around the office. This can count as you starting to increase your physical activity.

Some people may be able to increase their activity by walking to or around their workplace. Small changes will help! After a long day at work or looking after the children, do you sit and binge-watch your favourite TV programme? Although we recommend that you take time to relax, try and get up after each episode and do a small job. For example, doing the washing up or filling the washing machine. 

For some, the above will be a good start. For others, you may be thinking that the above is a walk in the park. So why not? Get your walking shoes on and get outside. Try doing a short walk a day, or if you already walk the dog, pick up your pace and try and shave a few minutes off how long your current walk takes. Take in your surroundings. We often take Lincolnshire for granted and don't appreciate some of the treasures we have around us. Can you spot any wildlife or a change in the colours of the leaves? 

Ready for more? Try a new or old activity that will get your heart racing. Why not join a Martial Arts class, the local dance studio or if finances are tight, plan a schedule of free home workouts online? Give it a go. You have nothing to lose!

Feet walking on the grass

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