Better Mental Health Through Movement

Physical activity is not just beneficial for our bodies, but also vital for maintaining mental well-being. Regular movement can significantly enhance mood, boost energy levels, and improve overall mental health. By understanding and implementing a few simple strategies to incorporate more physical activity into our daily routine, we can greatly improve our life quality and mental state.

Discover Everyday Opportunities for Movement

It sometimes can seem challenging to find time for exercise. However, integrating movement into daily activities can be simpler than it appears. Here are practical tips for incorporating more movement into your day:

Make Waiting Times Work For You

Turn idle moments into opportunities for health. While waiting for the bus, a kettle to boil, or during other brief waiting periods throughout your day, consider:

  • Marching in place
  • Performing simple stretches
  • Trying chair exercises

These small activities add up, contributing to your fitness and boosting your mental alertness.

Set Achievable Daily Goals

Start with manageable goals that motivate progress without overwhelming you. For instance:

  • Walk to the end of your street each morning.
  • Gradually extend the distance each day as you feel comfortable.
  • Keep a movement journal to track your feelings and improvements over time.

These goals should be personal and tailored to encourage a positive outlook and increased self-confidence.

Frequent Breaks from Sitting

Long periods of sitting can detrimentally impact your health. To combat this:

  • Set a timer as a reminder to stand up every hour.
  • Use this time to walk around or stretch.
  • Alternate sitting with standing if you work at a desk.

Changing your position frequently can prevent stiffness and promote better physical health.

Movement for Happiness

Choose activities that you genuinely enjoy to make exercise feel less like a chore and more like a fun part of your day:

  • Play active games like tag or rounders in the park.
  • Incorporate playful movements during breaks in long meetings.
  • Engage in light-hearted physical activities with friends or family.

Enjoyment in movement leads to consistency, which is key for long-term mental health benefits.

Connect and Socialise Through Movement

Physical activities can also be social:

  • Join a walking group or a fitness class.
  • Engage in community sports or dance classes.
  • Organize walking meetings or coffee walks with friends.

Social interactions during exercise strengthen relationships and enhance emotional support, which are crucial for mental wellness.

Customise Your Movement Routine

Remember that everyone’s fitness level is different. Customise your exercise to what feels good for you:

  • If you’re new to exercise or have mobility issues, start with gentle movements.
  • Focus on exercises that are feasible and enjoyable for you.
  • Celebrate all forms of movement, regardless of intensity.

Respecting your body’s limits and gradually pushing them can help build endurance and confidence.

The Benefits of Mindfulness in Movement

Incorporating mindfulness into your movement routine can greatly enhance its mental health benefits:

  • Practice mindful walking, being aware of your breathing and surroundings.
  • Slow down or speed up your movements based on what feels best for your body.

Mindful practices help connect your physical and mental health, enhancing the tranquillity and relaxation benefits of exercise.

Walking Safely with SafeWalk

Always prioritise safety when you’re out for a walk alone. Activate the SafeWalk feature on the SafeKab app and you’ll be able to stride with confidence every time you leave the house and Walk more for Better Health

Use SafeWalk If You’re Walking Alone:

SafeWalk allows you to share your walk home with a loved one so they can keep an eye on your journey every step of the way. We have also developed a ‘panic button’ that stays on your phone screen, so should you feel threatened you can press the button and notify both the local SafeKab office and a loved one that you need help. With our FREE SafeWalk function, you need never walk home alone ever again!

SafeWalk is completely free to use for anyone who downloads the app! It’s a fantastic tool for students, schools, families, lone women, and anyone who might feel vulnerable while travelling alone. Download the app now and Walk for Better Mental Health.

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