girl working out at homeDepending on your circumstances, and often on the weather too, it can be difficult to motivate ourselves to get outdoors and to exercise, but pretty much all experts agree that it's a great way to boost your mood.

We know that our minds and bodies are completely inseparable, and that when we exercise we put in train processes that lead to improved mood. For example, exercise triggers the release of endorphins into the bloodstream, relieving pain and producing a feeling of well-being. Research has also shown that exercise increases electrical activity in the emotional processing areas of the brain, particularly the hippocampus and the pre-frontal cortex. In this way, exercise leaves us better placed to manage the worries and stresses that can lead to anxiety and depression.

It's vital to keep active to improve your mental health and stimulate your brain. If you don't exercise, the activity drops. That's one of the reasons why a lack of exercise increases your risk of anxiety and depression.

girl runing outdoorsExercise can also boost the production of a protein, BDNF, or Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which is crucial for brain health.

This is sometimes described as a kind of brain fertiliser - it helps parts of your brain regenerate. Even short periods of exercise - just ten minutes - can help.

Anything that leaves you slightly out of breath, like a brisk walk, or something like gardening, or a cycle ride, will do.

Movement. It’s what we are made for!

Check out these suggestions for exercise that require neither lycra nor too much effort.

There are endless activities that can provide the opportunities for movement essential for good health, swimming, dancing, yoga etc and you may well have your own favourites. Either way, here are some things that evidence tells us can make a significant and sustainable difference to your health.


You may also be interested in