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Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

November 8, 2022


Whilst being active is commonly known to improve overall fitness and have physical benefits, the benefits that sport can have on mental health are hugely underestimated.



Participation in sport and physical activity offers a range of benefits from weight management to reducing health risks, to strengthening your muscles and bones. Sounds great, right? But, did you know how sport can positively impact your mental health as well as your physical body?


Let me take you through some of the benefits that you can experience when taking part in sport and physical activity and I guarantee that by the end of reading this, you will want to take part too!


Let's take a look...


Benefits, mindset, success!


 

Why Is This Topic So Important?


It is no secret that poor mental health around the globe is an ongoing problem that needs our attention. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that around 20% of the worlds children and adolescents have a mental health condition and that doesn't even include adults!


One of the WHO's methods of response is to improve wellbeing, so let's look into this right here, right now.


Facts, Figures, Fun and Fitness!


Around 1 in 8 people in the world live with a mental health disorder and these have a huge impact on a persons overall lifestyle, including disturbances in thinking, emotional regulation and demonstrating physical behaviours. Taking a look at the figures surrounding mental health disorders, the WHO have identified that back in 2019 (just before the pandemic);


- 301 million people were living with an anxiety disorder,

- 280 million people were living with depression,

- 40 million were living with disruptive and dis-social disorders,


...and the list doesn't stop there!


Since these figures were recorded, the world has experienced a pandemic, where further cases of mental health disorders have been recorded. It is no surprise that after two long years of being isolated and lacking social interaction, mental health across the board has deteriorated. If only we could find a way to challenge our own poor mental health, our own negativity and just feel good, right? Well, there may well be a way to experiencing a boost!


It is never a bad time to reclaim our own well-being and develop ourselves. Whether the pandemic was the cause of your poor mental health or whether it was work or something different, the chances are we have all experienced, at some point in our lives, stress, anxiety, low mood or depression.


Well let's take a look into the world of sport and find our power to battle the struggles of daily life through physical activity and fitness.


First of all, humans thrive off routine. It is a fact and I bet you will agree, that when we are in a routine we feel productive, we feel motivated and we feel like we have achieved something.


Taking part in sport offers us a routine, it offers us an activity to keep us busy and it develops healthy minds. In general, participation in sport helps to increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. That's right, overall, we can improve our quality of life just by taking part!


Sport and physical activity will help you to experience happiness, relaxation and gain a boost in confidence. Taking part releases chemicals in your brain that makes you feel happier and more relaxed, which can help you in other aspects of your life such as when you are at work, with your family or with your peers.


Individual participation can offer a range of benefits from improvement in concentration and focus control to reduction in low mood and depression. If you participate in team sports, you can find further benefits that positively impact your mental health such as, social interaction and an improvement in social skills and leadership.


Moving, Motivation and Mindset


After falling into a negative mindset and after struggling, it is hard to get away from that feeling but you can and it's totally worth it! Find yourself a routine that works for you and get moving! You will soon notice that if you stay consistent, you will benefit!


Struggling from lack of sleep? Sport can help! Low mood? Sport can help! Low levels of confidence? Sport can help!


Let's start with getting moving. Jump up, take a walk, start now! Once you are up and about, you are a step closer to a healthy mind. Whilst we all know how hard it is to start, once you have, you are doing an amazing job!


In regards to children and sport, encouraging them from a young age to maintain active is very important. Children and adolescents can experience many pressures throughout childhood and growing up, including puberty and it is crucial that we find a strategy to help balance mood, help them to find hobbies, talents and happiness in what they do.


Mindset in all ages helps significantly in being able to maintain positivity and remain consistent. It is easy to fall back into sitting down on the sofa, or feeling tired and skipping your run. Well, don't skip anything, allow yourself time to sit down but try to fit some sort of exercise into your daily lifestyle and you will, you really will notice a difference.


What you tell yourself is most likely what your brain will listen to, so tell yourself that you can do it, listen and believe in yourself! Mindset is crucial, let's work together, let's help each other and let's be there to listen. Let's encourage each other to start something new, to find the sport or exercise one loves and do it. We have the power to become a team and fight against poor mental health and finally, become the person we have always wanted to be.



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