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How exercise can improve our mood

Days are getting shorter and temperatures are cooling off, and it can be tempting to get cosy and stay inside. But now, more than ever, it’s important to dedicate some time for self-care.

Why? Time spent moving outside can greatly improve so many aspects of our lives, such as:

  • Better quality sleep – physical activity can relieve stress, which is often the most common reason for keeping us awake! After any exercise, we are naturally more tired, meaning sleep will come more naturally.
  • Releases feel good endorphins – it is proven that a small amount exercise every day can minimise symptoms of anxiety and depression, it can also provide us with more energy for each day.
  • More social interaction – as many of us have adjusted to working from home and have become accommodated with seeing colleagues and loved ones through a screen, it’s easy to forget how simply exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighbourhood can help your mood. There is a huge variety of local events and activities to join, take a look at our website for some inspiration!
  • Reduces stress – physical activity is shown to releases cortisol which helps us manage stress. Incorporating time outside and exercise into our daily lives can also give us something to focus on if our minds are feeling lost.

It’s no surprise that the pandemic turned routines and normality upside down for many of us, so if increasing your level of physical activity seems overwhelming, it is a good idea to ease yourself into it by setting small goals to reach.

A great place to start would be to use our Active Autumn Challenge guide as inspiration. There is a huge range of activities to choose from! You may prefer to take your favourite book outside and read in a calming spot or try a brand-new hobby such as paddleboarding – no matter what you choose, the outcome will be rewarding. Remember that every small achievement will be an act of self-care that is contributing to the quality of your mental health.