Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Exercise and Mental Health: Options for Helping Yourself By Being Active 100%

One of the symptoms of some mental health problems is a feeling of lethargy. The difficult thing about it is that a lack of energy to be active is stopping you from doing one of the things that can help you improve your state of mind. Exercise isn’t just for people looking to run a marathon or shed some pounds; it has actual physiological benefits to our bodies and brains. That’s why you should be looking into different ways of getting yourself moving and here we are going to discuss some of the ways you can do that as well as ways to get in shape quickly.


Let’s start with the most obvious and therefore easiest to discuss, going to the gym. Every year there is a spike in January of new memberships to the local fitness centre, but before long those signups turn into monthly payments with no bodies. Why is that? Before we talk about what you should be doing, we must address the reasons people avoid the gym so that you can understand the cons.

One of the main reasons is that people struggle to fit the gym into their busy schedule. Well, this is a fair enough reason, if you’re already struggling due to work and personal commitments it can be hard to manage fitting in the trip to the gym. Secondly, the atmosphere associated with the gym – this one is particularly relevant to those people who suffer with social anxiety. It can be challenging to face the gym when there are people there who are more experienced, and let’s be honest some people who maybe aren’t as welcoming as they could be.

One way to combat both of these things is to explore the option of a personal trainer at your local gym. Now, you might be asking what do personal trainers do? Well aside from being qualified in training people for exercise, often including nutrition, they can play a key role for someone who struggles to commit to the gym. A personal trainer can be a friendly face in a crowd of unknown people, someone who greets you and makes you feel comfortable. In addition, a regular session with a trainer will be based on your schedule, so you can work into your routine an agreed upon time slot.

Now, the gym isn’t for everyone, but that is one solution that might help you get into the building of treadmills, weights and bicycles.

woman yoga pose

Photo by lograstudio from Pixabay

Home Fitness

The reason for exploring the option of fitness comes down to the positive effects it has on the body and the mind. So putting yourself in a situation that you find uncomfortable or worse, may not be the best thing for you. If that is the case then you might want to consider creating a routine that you can do from home. The much-maligned fitness DVD could be something you find helpful, but it will only work if you create time for it.

If watching a DVD isn’t going to help you, but you do want to try home fitness, consider buying yourself a yoga mat and looking up some of the exercises online. There are many videos and worksheets that will explain to it detail how to do each move, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your heart rate will increase. Experienced teachers like DDP Yoga will provide you not only with a workout, but open you up to forums of people attempting the same thing you are. Exercise and communication working together as one, without having to leave the home.


Finally, getting outside is not something you should be avoiding. Daylight and the many other parts of outdoors life are beneficial to our mental health. For that reason, you might think about taking up something like running. If you haven’t been running before, or for a long time, it can be quite alarming the impact it has on your body. But much like anything to do with exercise, or indeed life, it is all about building up your system to get more comfortable.

Many parks now offer you the chance to join a 5k run on a weekly or monthly basis; this can be a good way to meet people while setting yourself a personal go for exercise. You, of course, don’t have to speak to anyone but that community spirit coupled with getting your mind and body active will be hugely helpful to you in the long term.

Ultimately, exercise is about what is right for you and hopefully these options have given you a small idea of how much choice there is out there for you.

Mandy X


Photo by silviarita from Pixabay (woman stretching)