Exercise and Mind-Health

Exercise, we all know it’s good for us, right? Not just our bodies, but our minds too. But how many of us set up the beginning of the year with a new gym membership and the best intentions but find our enthusiasm waining by week two, feeling like we have failed and reaching for the biscuit tin?

Exercise doesn’t have to mean slogging it out in the gym doing repetitive weights or circuits, how about a hula hoop class? Maybe try your hand at some Circus training, or how about some Nordic Walking? Bouldering or climbing perhaps? Doing something different, something fun means you are more likely to stick to it, it has to be enjoyable! If you suffer from anxiety or depression it can be hard to be around people at times, but meeting with people with a common purpose, in this case exercise, where the focus is on that rather than having to answer any questions about who we are, what we do (stuff that’s all linked to our identity and self-worth), can be the connection and sense of community with others we are looking for to help us through tough times and help us become more resilient to future dips in mood.

There are so many classes out there to try, a good way to find out about and try out some of them is to join MoveGb, a website listing a huge range of different activities provided by independent and personal trainers. There’s a monthly fee which ranges depending on how many classes a week you want to do, and in some plans you can also get free swims and use of sauna facilities.

Exercise is a great way to support your body whilst in counselling, as are other therapies such as massage, reflexology, and other holistic therapies.

If money is a problem there are many people who will offer low-cost places, you just need to ask.  Hamilton House in Bristol have a low-cost clinic during the week, as do Neal’s Yard in Clifton. Many people who are just starting out and need someone to practice on will also offer treatments for a small fee, it’s worth asking your local college too.

We only have today, let us begin!

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