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Benefits of Movement for Mental Health

“Mental Health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you are going.” Noam Shpancer, PHD

We have explored the pillars of wellbeing at some length in previous articles and conversations. This month we wanted to focus on one of these pillars, our physical wellbeing pillar, focusing on the benefits of movement for mental health. In today’s digital world, we move less than our ancestors, spending more time at our desks and allowing machines to complete heavy work. Movement releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones) into the system, creating many benefits and boosting our self-esteem.

How active do I need to be?

Some movement is always better than none, and regular exercise can help us reduce our stress or anxiety levels. It is recommended that the average adult in the UK should complete between 75 and 150 minutes of exercise per week. Don’t worry if this sounds like a lot; start small and build up slowly.

You could also share your plans with a friend or family member so that they can work with you to help

keep you accountable. The key to exercise is finding something you enjoy doing so it does not feel like a chore, but something you choose to do. There are so many sports and forms of movement to choose from, including running, Pilates; Yoga, walking (with or without a dog), playing a sport such as tennis, football, netball, cricket, rugby, dancing or horse riding; the list goes on. Even doing the housework or going to the shops all count towards your movement goals.

What are the benefits of movement for mental health?

Not only does movement or exercise offer physical benefits, but there is also a social element to consider. If you join a team or attend a regular exercise class, it is a great way to meet people. The key benefits of movement for mental health includes:

2. Helps you gain greater clarity and sharpens your thinking.

3. Improves your energy levels.

4. Generates a sense of purpose or achievement.

5. Improves your mood through the generation of endorphins (the happy hormone).

6. Helps you to manage stress, anxiety or depression.

7. Improves your circulation and metabolism.

Completing exercise outdoors will also help boost our mood; research from The Mind Foundation shows that nature is vital for our psychological and emotional health.

In Summary

Movement and mental health are closely linked. We offer a number of different physical wellbeing workshops to support our teams in taking a conscious approach to their mental health. If you would like to understand more about our range of physical wellbeing workshops that focus on sleep, nutrition or movement, please contact us to discover more.


  • Harvard Health:

  • Mental Health Foundation:

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