She advises taking fresh air walking if you have one mental block or feeling unmotivated can help give you a boost, as it helps your heart beat faster – supplying fresh oxygenated blood to your brain, allowing you to think better and concentrate.
While the methodical motion of swimming gives you something to focus on, it helps lower stress levels and releases cortisol which can help manage stress.
But dancing can be used to soothe feelings of worry or anxiety, as physical activity can release endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which make you feel happy.
The advice comes after research of 3,000 adults, including 1,000 who have a long-term health condition, found that 67% of those who engage in some form of physical activity say it helps their mood.
While 32% feel their mood is lower if they don’t move or exercise as much as they usually would, mental well-being is the most important factor for 18% when choosing a a physical activity.
However, for those with a long-term health condition, 38% who engage in some form of physical activity believe it helps their well-being, and 23% say the impact it has on their mental health is their primary consideration.
Not moving as much as they would like causes 45% of people with a long-term health condition to feel depressed, compared to 27% of those without.
Dr Zoe Williams, who works with We Are Undefeatable, who commissioned the research, said: “It can sometimes be frustrating if we don’t move our bodies for a long time.
“But even the smallest movements like walking or stretching can make you happier and healthier.
“Moving our body in any form every day can improve our mood and help increase our mobility and mental well-being.”
Improvement with movement
The study also found that 42% of adults with no health conditions are active more than five days a week – for around 43 minutes at a time.
But for those with a long-term health condition, that drops to 25%, for 35 minutes at a time.
It also emerged that a third felt disappointed if they got to the end of the day and hadn’t exercised as much as they had hoped, while 18% felt uncomfortable with stiffness and pain due to lack of movement.
But 58% believe they already do as much physical activity as they can, with that figure rising to 75% of people with a health condition.
Some of the most popular activities, among all respondents, include walking (53%), team sports (20%) and swimming (18%).
It also emerged that 51% of adults exercise alone – 45% because they want to be alone with their thoughts, 22% fear being judged by others and 20% fear not being “enough form”. to join the others.
And of those with a health condition who enjoy being active solo, 28% say their condition makes them self-conscious.
As a result, 52% of respondents who are active exercise at home, according to the study conducted via OnePoll.
More than four in 10 (42%) use cans as weight, while 18% use the door frame for their business.
Michelle Roberts, Fitness and Health Program Manager for the Richmond Group of Charities behind We Are Undefeatable, said:
“It’s so great to see from research that everyone, including those living with a disease or health condition, can get an uplifting boost from physical activity, whether it’s big or small.
“We want to encourage everyone to find the moves that suit their mood and provide inspiration for those who don’t know where or how to start.”
Expert advice from Dr. Zoe Williams to help boost your mood through exercise
- No matter how you feel on any given day, there’s a move you can make to adapt your energy level and improve your mood. Wanting to be physically active every day can help us feel happier and healthier, and over time it could increase the amount of time you spend being physically active.
- When you wake up feeling energized, a brisk walk is a great way to get your body moving – for days that start slower, a walk can help get your body moving and clear your mind. Walking is an excellent low-impact cardio exercise that allows you to improve your physical condition while being gentle on your joints.
- If you’re feeling stressed, you can try swimming for a calm, focused activity that’s great for your body and mind. The swim move can also be done while sitting on your couch or at your desk – for an easy way to fit some movement into your day when you can’t make it to the pool.
- If you’re feeling worried or anxious, aerobic activities such as dancing can be a great way to relieve tension and get your heart rate up satisfactorily. Physical activity releases endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which trigger positive feelings in your brain that can make you feel less stressed and anxious.
- When you have a mental block or are feeling unmotivated, getting some fresh air and moving your body outdoors is a great way to clear your mind. This movement outside can be a daily task like bringing groceries from the store, going for a walk with your dog or even gardening.
- If you come to the end of the day and find that you haven’t moved as much as you could have, you can do some simple stretches and yoga moves before bed to help you relax and rest easily. .
Top 10 physical activities people do regularly (once a week)
- While walking
- Team sports, i.e. football, tennis, etc.
- Sit to stand
- Jogging outside