Updated on

Using movement to improve your mental wellbeing

Exercise isn't just about staying in shape - it's also a great way to help improve your mental wellbeing. When you find a type of exercise you enjoy and do it regularly, you not only reduce your chances of long-term health problems like heart disease and cancer, but you also boost your mood and mental health.

30% Regular exercise can lower your risk of early death by up to 30%

source: NHS website

Ways movement can help your mental health

Improving sleep 

Regular exercise helps improve your overall sleep quality, making it easier to relax and fall asleep at night. When you exercise regularly, you also tend to enjoy deeper, more rejuvenating sleep compared to those who don't.

You can find ways to help improve your sleep using this online self help guide 

Managing symptoms of low mood and depression

Movement releases feel-good hormones that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. It's like giving our brains a dose of happiness, so exercise can be an effective way to give your mood a boost.

Find out more about living with low mood with this online self help guide

Managing stress 

If you’re feeling busy and stressed, there’s good news – exercise can help you relax! Physical activity can reduce tension and lower stress hormones in your body, leaving you more relaxed and better equipped to deal with life's stresses.  

Improving memory and brain function 

Exercise also boosts blood flow to your brain, including the areas linked to learning and memory. It brings long-term benefits by lowering your risk of diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. 

Improving confidence 

Feeling healthier can help boost your self-esteem and confidence. Whether you’ve achieved a particular goal or are just feeling physically better, improving your health is a real confidence lifter. 

Helping us socialise and meet new people 

Exercise can be a great way to connect with others, whether it’s taking the dog for a walk or taking part in a group exercise session. Doing something you enjoy with like-minded people is not only fun, but a great way to give your spirits a lift.   

Making a start 

Making movement a part of your daily routine doesn't have to take up lots of time. Small changes still bring important wellbeing benefits. And if you’re doing something that you enjoy, you’re on the right track. This article will help you find moments for movement in your everyday routine.

Sporting and social activities in your area

We run a range of free sporting and social activities across the UK for veterans and families, bringing people together where they live. Find out more about getting involved.